HEARTTHROB Shayne Ward took time out of his busy schedule to return to his roots – the youth club he credits for his success.
The X Factor winner took time out of his publicity tour for his upcoming new single to return to Music Stuff at Crossley house in Openshaw, where he began his singing career at just 14-years-old.
Shayne, from Clayton, gave talks to current members of the club, which aims to give young people musical and creative opportunities they might not otherwise have.
The sexy star proved he has kept his feet firmly on the ground when he offered advice and even asked the youths to sing to him.
He said: â€œI joined Music Stuff when I was 14 and I used to come here every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I met some amazing people here and I really enjoyed myself – it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
â€œOne thing I learned about coming here was to overcome my fear of being nervous and being able to speak up.
â€œWhen I first started out I couldn’t even get up on stage – I could sing in my bedroom and sing on karaoke as long as I was with someone but I could never get up and sing by myself.
“I came to Crossley House and they really helped me come out of my shell and build up my confidenceâ€.
Young singers Shoa Osborne, 15, Leanndra Williams, 17, and Georgina Coles, 16, were among those who sang in front of Shayne. He played fans his new single, If That’s OK with You, which will be released on August 20.
And Shayne was keen to give all the youth club members advice on staying on the straight and narrow.
He said: “I remember reading a newspaper article and there was a great quote given to me saying that I’m an inspiration to the ASBO generation.
“That has to be the best thing that’s ever been written about me. If someone has an ASBO and says, â€˜Do you know what, I want to be like Shayne Ward’, then that’s fine by me.
“I could have hung around the streets – I could have got into the wrong crowd, it’s so easy – but I knew there was more to life.
“I would rather make people happy than make them sad.
“I didn’t want to be a bum on the streets I wanted to go out and work and be able to pay rent to my mumâ€.
Music stuff founder Lenny Portersmith said: “We’ve all watched what Shayne has achieved and everyone here at Music Stuff has taken a huge amount of inspiration from himâ€.
Shayneâ€™s final word to the kids was: “My advice to anyone is: â€˜Don’t be nervous, always speak up’.”