Former Smiths frontman in a 'stable condition' after collapse following opening song in Swindon
The former Smiths frontman Morrissey was rushed to hospital tonight after collapsing on stage at the start of a concert.
Witnesses said that just moments after the 50-year-old had finished performing his opening song, the 1983 hit This Charming Man, he fell to the floor and was dragged offstage by worried band members.
Minutes earlier he had arrived on stage and said: "Good evening ... probably."
The singer, whose real name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, was performing at the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon, Wiltshire, as part of a world tour when the incident happened at around 9pm.
He was taken by ambulance to Great Western hospital where medics described his condition as stable.
Mark Taylor, 40, who was in the 1,000-strong audience, said: "The stage went dark and he was taken off the stage and then his band then all left the stage. There was a wait of about 25 minutes before one of the stage crew came on and said Morrissey had left the building, and that he was seriously ill.
"Everybody started booing, thinking 'here we go again'. He has a bit of a poor track record for cancelling his concerts."
Morrissey has already cancelled a string of concerts this year due to an "unspecified illness".
In May he cancelled a show at Birmingham's Symphony Hall due to ill health and during February and March, the four opening dates of his tour – all in Florida – were also cancelled, reportedly due to illness too.
A spokesman for the Great Western Ambulance Service said: "A 50-year-old man who was reported to be reported to be suffering from respiratory problems and was unconscious. We sent a paramedic in a doubled-crewed ambulance. When they arrived they found a conscious patient who was not feeling well at all."
A spokesman for the Great Western hospital said: "Morrissey is being reviewed by the medical staff and his condition is stable."