Ailing singer Morrissey has sparked speculation he is considering retirement, telling fans he has reached his "physical limits" and adding: "I hope this isn't the end."
The former The Smiths star axed the remaining 22 dates of his North American tour at the weekend (15-17Mar13) as he continues to battle a range of serious health issues including pneumonia, a bleeding ulcer, and throat condition Barrett's oesophagus.
The cancellation came after weeks of illness continually forced the cult singer to postpone shows on the tour, and now fans are speculating he is eyeing a retirement from music as his physical problems mount.
In a statement, Morrissey writes, "It takes a lifetime to find the right words, and at the moment, I haven't got them. I've been a colossal pain where this continuously unpredictable illness is concerned, and now the physical limits have been reached. The tour had, in fact, been fantastic for all of us - a new slice of life full of concentrated power. The audiences everywhere have given so much, although I know that neither of us will ever receive our due. I hope this isn't the end, and I hope there will be other chances, minus the heavy burden of illness. Knots of grief today, but full of resolve for tomorrow."
Last year (12), the 53-year-old star sparked rumours he was considering bowing out of the music industry in 2014 when he revealed he plans to retire at the age of 55 after suffering "distressing" signs of ageing.