Stephen Gately, who blazed a trail for LGBT+ musicians by coming out as gay in 1999, died of natural causes relating to a heart condition on October 10, 2009. He was aged just 33.
A decade on, his Boyzone bandmate Ronan Keating honoured Gately with a touching Instagram story.
“Miss ya bro,” he wrote, sharing 10 photos of the late singer.
Keith Duffy joined in with a picture of himself and Gately laughing onstage.
“Chance made us colleagues, love and laughter and fun made us best friends,” he wrote.
“I miss you brother… Today I celebrate and reminisce all the fun and laughter ups and downs.
“I love you Steo and I pray you continue to look over me. See you down the road Stephanie… All my love Kitty.”
Gately passed away while on holiday with his husband Andrew Cowles in Majorca.
The day after his death, Keating, Duffy and their two bandmates, Mikey Graham and Steve Lynch, flew to the Spanish island to escort his body back to Ireland.
The four men, along with Cowles and other family members, held an overnight vigil on the eve of Gately’s funeral, which saw thousands of fans line the streets of Dublin.
Over the years Gately’s memory has been kept alive by his bandmates.
In 2018 Lynch recalled how the singer had “flourished” after revealing his sexuality, despite initially being “distraught” when a newspaper forced him to come out.
“It nearly destroyed him. It really nearly destroyed him,” he said while in the Celebrity Big Brother house.
“But from that point, he just flourished… He grew into this beaming man of joy.”
Boyzone released their final album ‘Thank You & Goodnight’ in 2018, which included a song which featured Gately’s vocals.
Lynch said that the track was “a bittersweet blessing without a doubt.”
“Boyzone will always be five so it was important that as we said goodbye, we said it with him,” he told the Daily Record.
“It was just lovely to have him around. We miss him.”
Story sourced from – Pink News