Bono has told Irish radio host Ryan Tubridy that he feared his recent back injury could have crippled him for life, and claimed that it was the treatment he received from German doctors that allowed him to retain the use of his leg.

"I had a pretty close call. What was dangerous about it was a piece of disc that had ripped through ligaments had gone down into the spinal canal and I could have lost the use of my left leg," Bono revealed from Helsinki, Finland, where U2 are on tour.

Bono took the opportunty to call into the Tubridy Show on the presenter’s first day replacing the legendary Gerry Ryan, who died of a heart attack triggering a period of national mourning in Ireland. Bono said he was inspired to call into the show after seeing Gerry Ryan in a dream.

"Gerry appeared to me last night in a dream and said: 'That fellow Ryan Tubridy used to work making me coffee years ago and I always knew he had his eyes on my gig,'" joked the singer.

Tubridy told the Irish Independent the interview had actually been arranged over a chat in their native Dalkey.

Said Turbidy: "I had never spoken to Bono before this summer when we met in the pub and had a pint. Maybe that helped, but I'm also sure the call was made as much for Gerry Ryan as for me.

"Gerry was Bono's friend and Bono knew I was Gerry's friend. It was a triangle. He came on air and wished me well.

"I was very impressed he took the call, given he has a sore back and was in his hotel bed in Helsinki with a gig to do tonight."