John Lennon
John Lennon penned a letter to folk singer Steve TilstonGetty

It all started with a letter from global icon John Lennon. Now, 34 years later, it could become the pinnacle of a folk singer's career after inspiring a Hollywood movie.

Steve Tilston started out in the music scene in Liverpool in the 1970s at the time when the Beatle legend was making a name for himself as a world star, penning hits such as Imagine. But Lennon still made time to write to Tilston to share his pearls of wisdom with the up-and-coming singer.

However, for some unknown reason, he never received the letter and it was only when a US collector found the correspondence in 2005 that Tilston discovered it even existed, reports the Mirror.

Now the letter is worth £7,000 ($10,660) but is set to soar in value when the Hollywood film Danny Collins starring Al Pacino comes out on 29 May.

Lennon wrote to Tilston: "Being rich doesn't change your experience in the way you think.

"The only difference, basically, is that you don't have to worry about money – food, roof, etc – all other experiences – emotions, relationships – are the same as anybodies.

"I know, I've been rich and poor. So does Yoko (rich-poor-rich) So whadya think of that. Love, John and Yoko [sic]."

Hollywood screenwriter Dan Fogelman, whose work includes Cars, Tangled and Crazy, Stupid, Love, approached Tilston for permission to use the story.

"They could have just used it and there's not a lot I could have done about it," Tilston said. "But he recognised it as my intellectual property. The letter was intended for me.

"I didn't see dollar signs and start cashing up straight away, but it was certainly quite a nice financial consideration as it's helped to pay off the mortgage."

The father-of-four, who now lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, said he hoped Lennon was inspired to write to him because he was a fellow Liverpudlian or had heard his music.

He added: "I'm sure we would have ended up playing together.

"I don't think I would have gone around there and been all tongue-tied and wide-eyed."

Tilston has carved out an impressive 45-year career of his own, winning the BBC Folk Award for best song of the year in 2012, and has his album Truth To Tell coming out on 20 July.

"John Lennon is such an iconic character that this could become the story of my life. I become 'the person who never got the letter'."