The way they were: An early promotional shot of Boyzone with a baby-faced Stephen Gately at the center

Boyzone fans were united in grief Thursday as the surviving members revealed that they would carry the coffin of tragic Stephen Gately for his funeral Saturday.

Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham will carry the casket of their beloved singer helped by two members of the late singer's immediate family.

The four Boyz were seen in Dublin today visiting the inner city funeral parlor where Stephen's body will lie in repose.They will also keep an all-night vigil Friday night.

Thousands of fans are expected to mingle with showbiz stars Saturday to pay their respects at St Laurence O'Toole's Church on Sherriff Street, close to Gately's boyhood home.

"Stephen's husband Andrew and his family have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public," family spokesman Gerald Kean said .

"This is an extremely difficult time for the family but they are lifted by the fact everyone who ever met Stephen Gately had positive, happy memories.

"He was a unique, beautiful young man."

Boyzone also released a statement saying: "Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane would once more like to thank everyone for the great many messages of condolence they have received.

"Seeing the love and warmth that so many people have felt for Stephen has been a true comfort for them over the past few days."