by Sophie Corless
Fans of the Manic Street Preachers were today remembering Richey Edwards on the 10th anniversary of his disappearance.
The talented and tortured guitarist with the Welsh rockers was last seen alive on this day in 1995 - and his whereabouts have since become one of the great musical mysteries.
On the eve of their American tour, Richey drove his car to the Aust motorway services by the Severn Bridge, where it was discovered 17 days later with a flat battery and no sign of its famous driver.
Ten years on, speculation is still continuing as to the circumstances of his disappearance. There have been a number of reported sightings though nothing has been confirmed and police files on the case remain open.
This week, Manics' bassist Nicky Wire said the remaining three Preachers would do nothing to mark today's anniversary, except share their memories.
"It's a personal thing between the three of us and his mum, dad and sister," he told NME magazine.
Welsh fans will today be taking time to reflect on the man who had a huge impact on music in the 90s.
"I was brought up [with] the Manics, and their whole style changed after Richey disappeared," said Cerys Roberts, 22, of Caerphilly.
"It was a huge loss to the band and they must have suffered terribly.
"His lyrics came from a different place altogether and he brought a dark influence to the band.
"Wherever he is, it's a real tragedy that he's gone."
Geoff Jones, 26, senior sales manager at HMV in Cardiff said: "I've been a fan since they first began and you can hear how their music has changed over the years.
"Richey's influence made their music political and antagonistic, but now they have become a lot mellower.
"His disappearance has had a huge effect on lots of fans, and there are endless debates about what's happened to him.
"I'm amazed it's been 10 years. The music world lost a truly enigmatic, controversial character."
[Originally published: South Wales Echo, 1 February 2005]