off the mark | 

Westlife replace Mark Feehily with cardboard cut-out as he recovers from pneumonia

The Sligo native is recovering from pneumonia in hospital as his bandmates continue their UK tour without him.

Westlife and the cardboard replacement for Mark Feehily while he recovers from pneumonia.

Westlife and a cardboard cut-out of Mark Feehily.

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Westlife took to the stage in Liverpool without ill Mark Feehily last night, instead replacing him with a cardboard cut-out.

The Sligo native is recovering from pneumonia in hospital as his bandmates continue their UK tour without him.

Getting creative so as not to disappoint fans, a life-sized cut out of the star was carried on and off stage by Westlife in Liverpool.

Fans found the move hilarious as Nicky Byrne shared clips of the band carting the fake Mark around on stage.

Westlife and a cardboard cut-out of Mark Feehily.

Mark had issued a health update to concerned fans earlier this week, explaining why he was taking a break from touring under strict doctor’s orders.

After feeling “feverish” in Manchester, the Sligo singer had been told to let Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan go on without him.

"I know it’s scary when you first hear the word ‘pneumonia’ but thankfully I got to the doctor and hospital very quickly and got on the antibiotics as soon as possible, so everything is under control,” he told Instagram followers.

"I have been informed that the quickest way to recovery is to rest and continue the antibiotics. I’m feeling a bit better every day.

"The nurses and doctors are taking amazing care of me so it should be all over in no time.

"This does however mean missing more gigs which is horrible but I’ll be back on stage as soon as I get the all clear.”

The star said his bandmates “will continue to fly the Westlife flag high for all of us.

"Please scream even louder than usual for those three legends in my absence!”

The Sligo star thanked followers for their well wishes and said he hopes to see them “back on the road very very soon.”

The quartet arrived in Newcastle after a sell-out show at Manchester's AO Arena on Thursday evening but there was a blow to fans as Mark didn't join the band for Friday night's gig.

Westlife gave their fans an update on Instagram.

They said: "Hi everyone. Unfortunately, under strict doctor's orders, Mark is still unable to get back on stage for tonight's show in Newcastle.

"The party will still go ahead and although we are all gutted he can't be there, he sends his love as always and hopes you all have the best night ever.

"Love, the boys x."

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