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MY SIDE OF LIFE - AUTOBIOGRAPHY [ADDED CHAPTER]: AMAZON
80,000 fans flock to Croker for the first of two emotional farewell concerts from the greatest boyband on earth.
Louis: we'll never see such great pop success again.
23 June 2012: Pop tycoon Louis Walsh reckons that Ireland will never see a pop phenomenon as big as Westlife again - and admitted he tried to stop their split.
A gutted Walsh insisted last night that the band's massive sucess is unlikely to be repeated.
"Westlife are one of a kind," he said in Croke Park last night, at the first of their two final farewell concerts. "There are very few pop acts in the world, never mind Ireland, who have been as successful as they are, so the odds of anyone ever doing anything like this again are very unlikely.
"I'll probably shed a few tears this weekend because it's been an incredible journey and I don't think I'l ever see anything like this again."
Walsh (59) claimed there were several secrets to Westlife's success but much of their good fortune was down to the band members themselves.
"Unlike a lot of other acts, they never lost the run of themselves. They are nice guys, respectful guys who were all from great families," he said.
"As a result Westlife treated everone around them - especially the fans - with respect."
Walsh was among the 80,000 fans at Croke Park last night to see the band's penultimate performance before their retirement tonight.
"They've had 14 number ones, sold 45 million albums and have lasted an unprecedented 14 years," he said.
"There's not many acts who finish their careers by selling out two Croke Parks."
Westlife have already spoken about setting up a special helpline for Walsh - because he is more upset than anyone about their split.
"Yes I did try to stop them quitting" he said.
"I thought pulling the plug on Westlife was premature. But it was their decision in the end and I couldn't do anything about it. I'm looking forward to managing Shane [Filan] now and moving on to the next stage.
Source: The Irish Daily Star [Printed version]