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Gatley remembered for talent and charity work

PUBLISHED: 17:50 14 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:15 25 August 2010

PERFORMER: Stephen  with fellow panto star Laura Hamilton.  Photo: Andy Barnes

PERFORMER: Stephen with fellow panto star Laura Hamilton. Photo: Andy Barnes

TRIBUTES have poured in for Boyzone singer Stephen Gately who died suddenly last weekend. Only this year Gately leant his support to the Caudwell Children s charity appearing at a special sponsored ball to raise money in May, shortly after the Times news

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14: Claire Johnson, Stephen Gately and John Caudwell arrive at The Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball at Battersea Evolution on May 14, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Frantzesco Kangaris/Getty Images)

TRIBUTES have poured in for Boyzone singer Stephen Gately who died suddenly last weekend.

Only this year Gately leant his support to the Caudwell Children's charity appearing at a special sponsored ball to raise money in May, shortly after the Times newspaper owners Archant joined the worthy cause.

The 33-year-old was found dead, in kneeling position, by his partner Andy Cowles at their apartment in Port Andratx, Majorca, last Sunday.

The singer died from respiratory failure caused by fluid on the lungs, a post mortem examination revealed on Tuesday, but an investigation is to remain open pending the results of toxicology tests. The post mortem concluded that drinking was not a factor following claims that the star had been out drinking at a club in Palma earlier that night.

Mr Gately, whose picture adorned the walls of thousands of teenage girls' bedrooms during the 1990s, made his pantomime debut at The Churchill, Bromley, when he played Dandini in Cinderella in 2005.

The same year Gately thrilled fans in the town as his switched on Bromley's Christmas lights.

Shortly before he starred in the show, he spoke to the Times about how nervous he was.

He said: "I'm always nervous and I hate first nights they are really terrible for me, because I criticise myself if I mess up and make mistakes. I really hammer myself about it. I've always been like that - if I mess up I really hit myself."

A spokesperson for The Churchill, Bromley, said: "We are saddened to learn about the death of Stephen Gately. As Dandini he proved a great hit with our staff and audience.

"Performing in pantomime is a skill and is notoriously hard work and the director had been impressed with Stephen's commitment and willingness to take advice during the rehearsal process.

"Such was his commitment that he even offered and wrote a song for the production. Our thoughts are with his friends and family."

The other four members of Boyzone, Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch travelled to the Balearic island to pay tribute to their close friend.

A statement released by them read: "We are completely devastated by the loss of our friend and brother, Stephen.

"We have shared such wonderful times together over the years and were all looking forward to sharing many more.

"Stephen was a beautiful person in both body and spirit. He lit up our lives and those of the many friends he had all over the world.

"Our love and sympathy go out to Andrew and Stephen's family. We love you and will miss you forever, 'Steo'." The band had been expecting to release another album in 2010.


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