Take That split was 20 years ago

Take That perform at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Take That perform at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

On February 13, 1996 I was sitting in a maths lesson at school trying to disguise the fact that I was listening to a Sony Walkman through headphones.

I was 15 and waiting with baited breath as Take That were due to hold a press conference which was being broadcast on Radio One. There had been rumours that they were splitting up but I couldn’t bring myself to believe that this was true. They would never do this to us, their loyal fans.

As my maths teacher explained algebra to the class, or some such mathematical equation (you won’t be surprised to hear I got a E in maths), Gary Barlow’s voice came over the radio ‘I’m afraid the rumours are true, Take That are no more.’

When the announcement was over I slowly rose from my seat - holding back the tears - and with a quivering lip asked my teacher ‘Can I go to the toilet please?’

I then locked myself in a cubicle and sobbed my heart out. For a long time after that I was known by most of the school as ‘the girl that cried in the toilets when Take That split up’.

Many fans were so devastated they called Childline. I didn’t do that. Instead, myself and my best friend went to another fellow Thatter’s house and talked about it for hours, mainly asking ‘why?’ what on earth would we do now?

I would like to say I’m over my Take That obsession but when they announced they were reforming I went to the comeback tour three times, and queued all day on each occasion to get to the front.

If I added up all the hours I’ve spent queuing outside arenas and stadiums to see Take That it would probably amount to a week.

The fact that there are only three of them now doesn’t make any difference. Last summer I was there, front row of course.