herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Meet the Take That superfan who's kept the faith for 20 years

This bride-to-be is putting her wedding plans aside for something even more important -- two nights in Croke Park with manband Take That.

Dubliner Sharon Byrne (31) has been a diehard fan of the pop group for 20 years and has seen them in concert countless times.

Speaking to the Herald, Sharon said: "Although I am 31 and about to be a married woman I am most definitely the biggest fan ever.

"I first went to see them 20 years ago, when I was only 12 years old, and queued up all day and went on my own to the concert because no one else liked them.

"I've paid over £500 for a ticket to see them and flown to London, seen them in Belfast, Dublin lots of times and have a photo of them in the back of their limo after jumping on the bonnet of the car to get the photo -- in fairness I was only about 15 at the time.

"Twenty years on, I've been to see them in Croke Park and I'm going to see them again tonight with some friends."

Fun-loving Sharon admitted that she grew up "obsessed" with the band and is thrilled to relive her teenage years for the night.

It all started when she went to her first concert at the age of 12.

"I went on my own, sadly enough," she said. "I took the day off school, but I was allowed to go on my own.

"I went to Belfast at 14 with a friend of mine. We told our parents we were staying in each other's house but got the bus up to Belfast.

"I met Gary Barlow before. I went with my mother. We were both completely starstruck. It was some book signing.

"I would say there wasn't an inch of my wall that wasn't covered when I was younger. I'd always subject my friends to listening to it, and I was constantly rewinding and fast forwarding videos of them. I had the Take That duvet. My whole room was kitted out."

However, the only event which will overshadow tonight's concert is her upcoming nuptials this summer to her fiance Mark -- who has no problem coming in sixth for the duration of the boys' stint in Croke Park.

"He's okay with it," she joked. "I actually dragged him along to a Take That concert in Belfast and I heard they were staying at some hotel afterwards so I went to the hotel bar with him, but there were about 100 other screaming girls there.

"Unfortunately I didn't get to see them, but I think he was just a little relieved."

cmcbride@herald.ie

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