Graham Coxon wanted Blur and their fans to "miss" him when he departed the Britpop group.

The guitarist entered rehab for alcoholism in 2001 and his communications with his bandmates broke down and they decided to carry on without him for a while, going on to release the record 'Think Tank' in 2003, for which he only played on one track, 'Battery in Your Leg'.

And the 53-year-old musician admits he wanted them to do terribly without him.

He told MOJO magazine: "I'd been trained up in The Priory to avoid jumping straight back into people, places and things you associate drink with.

"I felt I had a duty to tell them that I didn't think that I could commit to touring.

"They were kind of horrified but it didn't really go anywhere.

"Then I got the call from Chris Morrison, our manager, and he said, 'Look, the guys don't want you to come into the studio today. In fact, they don't want you to come into the studio at all. Go home and we will let you know.'

"I thought, F*** me, this is a bit odd.'

"It's like a girl saying, 'I don't want to split up, I just don't want to see you anymore.'

"I had to make up my own mind.

"I did want them to fail, of course.

"I did want them to miss me. I wanted fans to miss me. I said some stuff I didn't mean."

After a tour, which saw former Verve guitarist Simon Tong step in for Graham, Damon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree announced a hiatus in 2007, which lasted until they reunited as a four-piece in 2009 for a number of festival shows, and Graham admits, with hindsight, the break was very much needed

He added: "But that bitterness wore off, especially when I knew how bloody hard it was for them.

"When they did stop in the end, I did feel bad.

"Honestly, we needed it. It wasn't great how it came about but we needed a break."

In 2015, Blur released their first studio album in 12 years, 'The Magic Whip', but they've been on hiatus since then working on solo projects.

Last month, it was reported that Blur are reportedly planning a major music comeback with a huge gig in London.

The Britpop legends are said to have been "privately masterminding" their return over the last year and they are hoping to schedule a massive concert at London's Wembley Stadium to celebrate 30 years since the release of their 1994 album 'Parklife'.