Westlife had hair ripped out on stage by crazed fans during height of fame

Westlife's Shane Filan has recalled some seriously horrifying fan encounters from back in their heyday, including theft and an on-stage assault.

The Irish boyband member chatted exclusively to the Daily Star as they announce the release of their first new album for two years, Wild Dreams.

The 42-year-old explained that they had been together on and off for the past 22 years, with a lot changing over that period with them all now being proud dads.

But this didn't stop him reminiscing on his younger days – after the group shot to international fame in 1998.

However, not all of the memories were fond ones, as he said the band's "monstrous" fanbase turned darker at some points and have even robbed and assaulted members.

Shane said: "When we were younger, fans used to come in thousands, thousands of people would meet you at the airport.

"It was dangerous, there were people robbing us, taking chains off Kian's neck, he had a ring pulled off his finger.

"They used to pull our hair out, they literally used to take and pull out locks of our hair."

He also went on to share a story from one of their early concerts in Indonesia when a fan attacked Mark Feehily on stage during their performance.

He continued: "We were doing one of our first-ever concerts and fans were fainting, and staff took her out and laid her down.

"We thought 'what's going on here? It's getting a bit mad', then the next thing one of the girls who were laying down, having supposedly fainted, then jumped up on stage jumped on Mark's back and had her hands in her eyes.

"We were like 'what the…?' and then security came on the stage but she was not letting go. Stuff like that is not something you were ever used to and you never get used to it."

When asked if they ever got up to no good, like the boybands from the nineties and noughties would notoriously do, he revealed that there were often given stern talkings to by hotel security.

Shane said: "We probably broke a couple of things in hotels got in trouble with security at hotels over the years. But we have definitely got better over the years as we are all dads now, we are just normal lads who just want to go out and enjoy it as the best we can."

The lads are now back with a 15-track album that Shane says they wrote "three-quarters" of, and are in higher spirits than ever.

The band separated in 2012 but are buzzing about their new revival and the news has thrilled fans globally.

Thinking back to their split, Shane added: "When we broke up, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to us. We have now sold out Wembley Stadium.

"Looking back, we did it all we did 11 albums in 12 years. We were burnt out and we aren't happy anymore we didn't like being in Westlife anymore.

"We felt stale and it was time to call it quits, we were still doing concerts and we called it quits at the top and felt like it was the right time."

‘Wild Dreams’ is available for pre-order today at www.westlife.com.

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