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Fragile Phil Collins helped from awards ceremony half way through

Phil Collins and Sir Bob Geldof attend the Glenfiddich Mojo Honours List 2011 (Pic: Getty)Phil Collins had to be helped out of an awards ceremony after being hit by crippling pains all over his body.

The fragile pop legend was due to present a gong to Ringo Starr but the lingering effects of a spinal injury struck and he was forced to leave, supported by two aides.

And Who guitarist Pete ­Townshend also joined the list of crock stars as he was spotted wearing two hearing aids to help combat ­deafness and tinnitus caused by years of loud music.

Former Genesis drummer Collins, 60, chatted to stars including Bob Geldof ahead of presenting Ringo with the Icon Award at the Mojo ceremony in London on Thursday. There he revealed: “I’m on my last legs. I couldn’t come back to music even if I wanted to.

“All these aches and pains, can’t do it any more.” A Mojo spokesman added: “Phil was unwell and ­unfortunately had to go home.”

Collins vowed to retire from music last March after a string of illnesses left him weak, lethargic and unable to drum ever again.

His ordeal began with the back injury in 2009 after decades of pounding his kit caused vertebrae to crush his spinal cord.

Collins, who has two young sons Nicholas and Matthew, with third and since divorced wife Orianne Cevey, insisted nothing could tempt him back into music.

He said before the awards ceremony kicked off: “I was tired of staying in a different hotel every night when touring.

“All those years on the road has taken it out of me. Now I spend all of my days doing nothing, just lying down watching daytime TV and Sky News.

“I just about manage to pick my boys up from school. I couldn’t come back, I’ve lost touch, I don’t know Plan B’s music or Lady Gaga’s. But tonight I’m here for Ringo.

“His award is well overdue, and that’s why I had to come out tonight.”

But pains in his arms, legs, back and other parts of his body meant he couldn’t last the distance at the three-hour event. As he was taken home, fears were also raised over Townshend’s health. Roger Daltry said his bandmate, 66, is “almost stone deaf”. He added: “When we last performed he had to stand right next to the speakers to hear anything.

“I don’t know what Pete will do. It could mark the end of the band doing live shows.”

Townshend’s problems began in the 60s when Who star Keith Moon blew up his drum kit live on stage and left him deaf in one ear. Decades of standing next to loud amps have also taken their toll.

The star said: “I have severe hearing damage. It’s manifested itself as tinnitus, ringing in the ears at frequencies that I play guitar. It’s painful and ­frustrating.

“I’ve no idea what I can do about this. I am unable to perform with in-ear monitors. In fact, the more they increase the more unbearable tinnitus I suffer after shows.”

© Daily Mirror, by Sarah Tetteh

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