Belfast Telegraph

Shock as Chris Rea collapses on stage days after Belfast gig

By Staff Reporter

Chris Rea fans said they have been left shocked after the singer collapsed on stage just days after entertaining thousands in Belfast.

Fans who attended the Waterfront event said there were "no signs" the star was unwell.

The 66-year-old performed for over two hours at the venue on Thursday.

The Driving Home For Christmas singer had been performing in Oxford on Saturday night when he fell to the stage mid-song, with one audience member describing him "falling into a clump". Fan Nigel Thompson, who attended the Belfast gig, said he was shocked after hearing Rea had been rushed to hospital.

"It was an excellent concert - there was nothing to indicate that he was off or ill," he said.

"I would say the opposite. For a guy of 66 to entertain a crowd of thousands for nearly two hours is quite a feat.

"Fantastic guitar skills and a good gig."

Co Down fan Alex Braithwaite said the entertainer was in "very good form".

"He was singing well and his guitar work was amazing," he said. "He didn't look as if he had any problems at all.

"Best concert I've seen barring The Eagles. He was waving and saying a few things to the audience."

Rea's scheduled concert in Brighton last night was cancelled following his collapse. The singer, who is currently travelling the UK with his The Road Songs For Lovers live tour, suffered a stroke last year. A spokesman for the star said: "Unfortunately Chris Rea has had to cancel tonight's show at Brighton Centre due to illness.

"A decision about the outstanding date on his UK tour on December 12 at Bournemouth International Centre will be made in the near future."

Shortly after the collapse, Rea was believed to be in a "stable" condition.

Darren Fewins, who had been watching the show with his wife, said the musician had been on stage for 40 to 45 minutes before he fell backwards.

"He was standing by the microphone and he had the guitar in his hand and he kept shaking his left hand as if there was something not quite right with it," the 46-year-old said.

"He walked forward to the microphone and he was trying to grab the microphone with his left hand, and it was swinging from side to side.

"I thought at first there was something wrong with it and he was trying to keep it steady. He then took three or four steps backwards.

"Then he just collapsed on the stage backwards.

"There was no one there to catch him, he just fell into a clump."

Another audience member said Rea had been "slurring his words a lot through the song beforehand".

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