Ronan Keating pays special tribute to Stephen Gately on 11th anniversary of Boyzone singer’s death

Ronan Keating pays special tribute to Stephen Gately on 11th anniversary of Boyzone singer’s death

RONAN KEATING has paid a special tribute to bandmate Stephen Gately on the 11th anniversary of the singer’s tragic death.

Gately passed away on October 10, 2009, aged just 33, as the result of a congenital heart defect.

Eager to mark the date, Keating took to Instagram to share a picture of the bandmates during their Boyzone heyday back in the 1990s.

The fresh-faced pair are posing in front of a pink backdrop in the snap, with Keating sharing a personal message of remembrance for his friend alongside the image.

“This was us as I remember and always want to,” he wrote.

"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 😂.”

Keating was joined by his fellow Boyzone band members in paying tribute to Gately.

Keith Duffy wrote: “11 years an Angel ! Love ya miss ya ❤️ #steo,” while Shane Lynch simply wrote: ‘♥️BROTHER♥️.’

Mikey Graham, meanwhile, shared a picture of himself on stage alongside Gately.

“Never stop missing ya kid. X”

Gately passed away at his home in Mallorca after suffering a pulmonary oedema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition.

A day after his passing, the other members of Boyzone flew out to Mallorca to bring hibs body back home to Ireland.

He was buried in Dublin with all four of his bandmates in attendance.

Keating later revealed to Sky News that the band had stayed in the church alongside Gately’s body, the night before his funeral.

“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.

“We toasted and we had a drink and it was our way of saying goodbye, it was our way of dealing with it.”

Last month Dublin City Council voted unanimously to rename a park after Gately.

Royal Canal Linear Park, near Spencer Dock, will be renamed Gately Park in honour of the singer, who grew up close to the park on Sheriff Street.