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Boyzone once slept by Stephen Gately's coffin so he wouldn't be alone

Boyzone once slept by Stephen Gately's coffin so he wouldn't be alone

The night before Stephen Gately's funeral the rest of Boyzone slept around his coffin so he wouldn't be on his own.

It's been 13 years since Boyzone star Stephen Gately died tragically aged just 33 of an undiagnosed heart condition.

Found dead on the sofa at his home in Mallorca on 10 October, 2009, his friends and bandmates in Boyzone flew out the next day and accompanied his body on the journey to Dublin for the funeral.

His death was a shock to the music world and a devastating blow for those closest to him, while fans around the world shared their grief and sorrow at his loss.

Before his funeral Stephen's bandmates decided to pay one final act of tribute to their friend while fans flew in from all over the world to pay their respects in their thousands.

During the funeral they helped carry their friend's coffin and gave heartfelt tributes to Stephen, but they'd also spent the night before holding a vigil around his body and the reason why is beautiful.

Boyzone star Stephen Gately died suddenly aged just 33 of an undiagnosed heart condition.
WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Of the decision to spend the night sleeping on the floor of St Laurence O'Toole church, Boyzone singer Ronan Keating told Sky News they'd made the decision so that Stephen's mum wouldn't worry that her son was on his own.

He said: "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."

In the morning they handed their sleeping bags to fans who'd been camped outside the church all night, with Keating describing spending one final night with their friend as a 'beautiful' and 'amazing' experience.

Members of Boyzone helped carry Stephen Gately's coffin during his funeral.
WENN Rights Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Keating said that along with soothing the fears of Stephen's mum that her son would be alone, holding the vigil was also 'our way of saying goodbye' and 'our way of dealing with it'.

Gately's bandmates regularly post tributes to their dearly departed friend on the anniversary of his death.

Ronan Keating took to Instagram to say: "13 years and doesn't get any easier because I know how much living ya had in ya. Miss ya dude. A heavy heart."

Keith Duffy posted a tribute to Stephen saying he'd 'had your brothers family with me for a special moment last night' and said he would 'never meet another living soul who loved me as unconditionally and honestly as my buddy Steo'.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Simon Meaker / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Music, World News