Robbie: I want Take That to honour Gately at Croker
Robbie Williams has revealed he will be approaching his fellow members of Take That to perform a special tribute to the late Stephen Gately when they perform in Dublin next summer.
He was speaking to The Diary in London this week as Take That launched a string of reunion dates, some of the most anticipated in the history of pop.
Williams said he felt it would be appropriate if the supergroup remembered Gately when their tour reached Dublin's Croke Park on June 18.
"I think it would be a fitting thing to do. I am going to ask the other guys. Stephen was such a friend to Take That and at that moment, next June, we will be together in his hometown."
Williams' comments come just two weeks after Stephen Gately's friends and family gathered in St Laurence O'Toole's Church in Sheriff Street, Dublin, on the first anniversary of his death.
The 33-year-old was found dead on October 10 last year at his holiday apartment in Majorca. It was later discovered he had an undiagnosed heart condition.
Williams, now 27, told for the first time how Gately's sudden death had a major impact on him, reminding him how close to death he had come in his own life.
"When I heard what happened, I remember being really shocked that Stephen was dead -- but also thinking, that could have been me. Any time really, because I have put myself through so much.
"At one stage my left arm was numb and seizing up and that's a sure sign that your heart is on the way out. Stephen's death was a bolt out of the blue for all of us, but especially for me."
On a happier note, he said he had his own special memory of Gately, the night he got up to sing at an after-show party following Williams's headline show in Slane in 1999 in front of 80,000 concert-goers.
"It was very late back at the hotel. We were all sat around with the production crew, and groups like Gomez and Placebo who supported me that day. A song was needed, and a singer.
"We asked for volunteers and Stephen got up, this lovely sweet man and sang 'Summertime', but beautifully, his little voice stretching out across the room full of guys from rock groups. It was a really wonderful moment which will last with me forever," Williams told me.
Tickets for Take That's Croke Park concert on Saturday, June 18, went on sale yesterday with the possibility of a second date being added.
Performing material from their new album Progress, the stadium show will also include a set of solo hits from Robbie Williams.