Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Missing guitarist 'presumed dead'

A BBC Wales Today archive report from 1995, three weeks after Richey Edwards went missing

Missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist and lyricist Richey Edwards has been declared as presumed dead, a spokeswoman for the band has said.

The musician from Blackwood, south Wales, disappeared nearly 14 years ago.

Despite alleged sightings all over the world many believe Edwards, whose car was found near the Severn Bridge, took his own life at the age of 27.

His parents Graham and Sherry Edwards have been granted a court order for him to be declared presumed dead.

Edwards' father said he did not wish to comment on the matter.

BORN: 22 December 1967, Blackwood, south Wales
EARLY LIFE: Went to Oakdale Comprehensive with future band members and studied for a political science degree at Swansea University
MANICS: Joined after designing the cover for the band's first single Suicide Alley in 1989. He was also their van driver, 'Minister of Information' and later guitarist and lyricist
CONTROVERSY: Carved 4 REAL into his arm with a razor blade in an interview with the NME's Steve Lamacq in 1991
ILLNESS: Spent time in hospital in Wales and a rehab centre for treatment for alcoholism and anorexia in 1993/94
LAST SEEN: 1 February 1995 in the Embassy Hotel, London checking out at 7am. His car was found at services near the Severn Bridge on 17 February

The band's publicist Terri Hall said the move was "hugely emotional" for remaining band members James Dean Bradfield, Nicky Wire and Sean Moore.

The band are unavailable for comment as they are currently abroad, she said.

She told the Mail on Sunday: "This is the parents' choice and the band is happy to go with what the parents decide is best.

"We all dream Richey will come back one day. You hope he is still around somewhere.

"But it is no longer a realistic hope and if this offers some kind of closure then the band will be content with that."

Edwards, whose unused lyrics for the band are set to be used in new Manics material due for release next year, was last seen in London on 1 February 1995.

It is believed Edwards returned to his Cardiff flat, but then drove to the original Severn Bridge where his car was later found.

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