Ronan Keating pays tribute to late Boyzone bandmate Stephen Gately to mark the 11th anniversary of his death
RONAN Keating paid tribute to Stephen Gately on the 11-year anniversary of his tragic death at the age of 33.
The Boyzone singer, 43, said he still misses his former bandmate after over a decade and "it's still as hard as ever to not have you in all our lives".
Sharing a throwback picture of himself with Stephen at the height of Boyzone's fame, he shared: "This was us as I remember and always want to.
"11 years has zipped by and it’s still as hard as ever to not have you in all our lives.
"Miss you brother. Miss your laugh miss your sense of humour.
"Miss your strops miss your high kicks miss the bones of ya.
"I know you are still smiling straw balls. God Bless ? ? #BeliveinME."
Ronan, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham previously opened up about their final night with Stephen, which they decided to do when his heartbroken mum mentioned that he never liked to be alone.
As a result, the four stars held an overnight vigil at St Laurence O'Toole Roman Catholic church so that he wasn't on his own for a moment.
They brought sleeping bags into the church and slept beside his coffin, with Ronan later telling Sky News that it was a "beautiful, amazing experience".
He added: "The four of us decided to stay with him on the Friday night in the church.
"All of us are so happy that we did it. It was our last night together as a five piece, our last real night together.
"We cried and we laughed and we could hear him telling us jokes and we could hear him answering back.
"We didn't get much sleep, a little bit, but that's not what it was about, it was just about spending time with Steo and we knew Steo well; he didn't like the dark, he didn't like being on his own.
"Yes, we had a nice time, the five of us. We toasted and we had a drink and it was our way of saying goodbye, it was our way of dealing with it."
Ronan and co. emerged from the church at 6am on the day of the ceremony, where they gave their sleeping bags to waiting fans who'd travelled to pay their respects.
Stephen tragically passed away in the early hours of 10 October 2009, at his holiday home in Port D'Andratx, Majorca.
His body was discovered by his husband Andrew Cowles who he'd marred in 2003, and the Boyzone lads flew out to Majorca to bring him home.
It was later discovered that Stephen had died due to a pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs) as a result of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.
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