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Roger Daltrey says ‘I’m on my way out’ weeks after milestone birthday

The Who musician Roger Daltrey has reflected on his generation after reaching a milestone age, stating: “I’m on my way out.”

Daltrey, who has been the frontman of the “Pinball Wizard” rock band since 1964, stepped down as the curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) gigs, which took place at Royal Albert Hall this month, after turning 80 on on 1 March.

Over the last 24 years, as the leader of TCT, Daltrey, a vociferous supporter of Brexit, has helped to raise £32m for specialised NHS units to care for young cancer sufferers.

He has now reflected on his decision to end his time as the event’s curator, suggesting it stemmed from a desire to “be realistic” about his future.

Writing in a “backstage diary” for The Times, Daltrey said: “I have to be realistic. I’m on my way out. The average life expectancy is 83 and with a bit of luck I’ll make that, but we need someone else to drive things.

“I’m not leaving TCT – I’ve been a patron since I first met the charity’s founders, Dr Adrian and Myrna Whiteson, more than 30 years ago – and that will continue, but I’ll be working in the back room, talking to the government, rattling cages.”

Daltrey said he had concern “about how many words” he had to remember ahead of recent shows he performed, and admitted to feeling nervous beforehand.

“On at 8.40pm and I’ve got to say I really feel it tonight,” he wrote, adding: “We haven’t done anything for seven months and this winter’s been brutal. I’ve been in hibernation. For the whole of January, I lost my voice completely.

“I live like a monk and if I went on tour for a week I’d be fit as a butcher’s dog again, but tonight, for the first time in my career, I think, ‘Blimey, this is hard.’”

The Who frontman Roger Daltrey (Getty Images)
The Who frontman Roger Daltrey (Getty Images)

Daltrey paid tribute to the “unsung heroes” who have aided the events over the years during The Who’s swansong performance.

The Teenage Cancer Trust has said it plans on working with a series of guest curators next year, after Daltrey steps down. While the rock legend said he isn’t going away from the TCT, and will continue to serve the charity as an honorary patron, he has “completed the job” he “set out to do”.