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Westlife star's love of football
Around the Academy:

Westlife
Westlife love their footy and play whenever they can
Westlife singer Nicky Byrne was always destined for stardom - but not necessarily as a pop star.

Before joining the band, Nicky spent two years at Leeds United and dreamed of making it as a top-flight 'keeper.

His talent was never in doubt, but Leeds thought he was too short to make the grade and released him from his contract.

But Nicky still loves the game and plays whenever he can.

The Academy caught up with him at the recent Soccer Six tournament to get his football chat.


Sport Academy: What's better - playing for Leeds or being in Westlife?

Leeds United 'keeper Paul Robinson
Leeds' number one Paul Robinson

Nicky Byrne: I love them both, but as I made it big with Westlife I guess that's been the best experience.

Looking back, I don't think I'd change anything, but if it was possible to be a footballer and a pop star, I'd happily do them both.

It would be great to live the footballer's life - even if it was just for a day!

SA: Do you like to get stuck in at events like Soccer Six? How fierce is the competition between Westlife and the other bands?

NB: It's competitive, but always fair. Hard tackles do go in and sometimes they can be mis-timed, but that's why the referee's there.

Nicky gets stuck in during Soccer Six

There's never anything malicious, after all we're all here for the same reason - to enjoy ourselves and make money for charity.

SA: What would be your top tips for anyone who wants to make it as a pro?

NB: For me, it's all about mental toughness. Managers will always try and test you to see how tough you are.

The best advice I could give is work your socks off and prove you have the right attitude to go with your talent.

It doesn't matter how much talent you have - you're nothing until you've proved yourself.




Nicky Byrne factfile
Born: 9 October 1978, Dublin
Height: 5ft 9in
Role in band: The solid, sensible one
Favourite football team: Manchester United

STAR TIP::

Nicky Byrne
Westlife star

You are what you eat - if you don't eat well you won't put in your best performance



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