Rocker Richey Is Still In Our Hearts

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The people who truly loved troubled Manics star Richey Edwards have never given up hope he is still out there somewhere.

Ten years ago his Vauxhall Cavalier was discovered near the Severn Bridge, sparking one of the biggest mysteries in rock and roll history.

The Gwent band were on the eve of a huge American tour when he went missing, and everything had appeared to be going to plan.

Since Richey's disappearance there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings of him, but despite this no solid information.

It was claimed a barmaid in Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, spotted him in December 1999. She said someone called his name and a man who fitted his description ran out.

There have also been unconfirmed sightings of Richey in a market in the Indian beach resort of Goa in March 1997.

One of his close friends told the Argus about the "kind, caring, and talented" musician and how he is still sorely missed.

Dean Beddis, 40, owner of Rockaway Records, Newport, saw Richey two weeks before he disappeared.

He said: "I saw him at a gig two weeks before he disappeared, he didn't look well.

"I remember when the Manic Street Preachers used to come into the shop with their demo tapes. They always said they were going to be big.

"Out of all the members he was the one who talked the most. We were one of the few shops who sold their first singles, including Suicide Alley - it would be worth £500 now."

A former member of punk outfit The Cowboy Killers, Mr Beddis added: "He is a lovely boy, quite timid, he was always really nice and a genuine person. When we first heard the news it was very upsetting. He is still missed and people still talk about him."

He continued: "I hope he is out there somewhere. If he is, I would like him to know he is missed by his family and friends, but I hope he is happy." In an interview with music magazine NME, bandmate Nicky Wire talked about the tenth anniversary.

He said: "We will talk to each other on the day and we'll remember something funny or stupid or sad.

"That's the impossibility of the situation anyway, there's no centred thing to fix yourself on. It's a personal thing between the three of us, and his mum, dad and sister."

A spokeswoman from the Metropolitan Police, London, said Richey was still listed as missing.

"Any new information that comes about will be investigated and the case remains open," she said.

After seven years a family is entitled to have a missing person declared dead and apply for their estate - in Richey's case, rumoured to be worth £3 million.

But that's not an avenue the Edwards have even considered.

A statement issued by Sony in early 2003 said: "For the family of Richey Edwards and the members of the Manic Street Preachers nothing has changed."

The Blackwood band has rocked the music industry since breaking into the scene in the early 90s, wowing fans with their classic anthems, gritty rock image and originality.

The three remaining band members, James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore, took a lengthy break after Richey first went missing.

They returned as a three-piece and have had success with a number of anthems, including If You Tolerate This, A Design For Life, and Masses Against the Classes.

Their new album, Lifeblood, has also given them a number-one single, For the Love of Richard Nixon.

Despite television appeals by his family and unconfirmed sightings, Richey's whereabouts remain a mystery.

His parents have refused to comment on the anniversary, and the mystery looks set to remain for years to come.

[Originally published: South Wales Argus, 1 February 2005]

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