Pogues star Shane MacGowan was 'determined to live only a few days ago', says wife

4 December 2023, 15:33

Shane MacGowan was "so vibrant and beautiful and so determined to live only a few days ago" before his death at the age of 65.
Shane MacGowan was "so vibrant and beautiful and so determined to live only a few days ago" before his death at the age of 65. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

The Pogues star Shane MacGowan was "determined to live only a few days ago", his wife has said.

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Victoria Mary Clarke was by her husband's side when he died "peacefully" at 3am on Thursday - weeks before his 66th birthday on Christmas Day.

She had been keeping fans regularly updated on his health condition, revealing in late November that he had recently been discharged from St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

Ms Clarke posted on X on Monday: "It's so hard to believe that someone could be so vibrant and beautiful and so determined to live only a few days ago.

"But so many people are losing loved ones all over the world. My prayers are for all of you guys as Shane's would be."

She later shared a picture of the singer grinning, adding: "Shane was always able to smile right until the last and his smile had a way of lightning up everyone around him no matter how much he was struggling or in pain. I hope this smile can still work its magic."

Read more: Shane MacGowan's wife reveals star's cause of death as tributes pour in for The Pogues frontman

Read more: The Pogues star Shane MacGowan dies at 65 days after being sent home from hospital as he battled brain condition

MacGowan was diagnosed with encephalitis following his latest bout of ill health and after years of alcohol and substance abuse.

His wife said he died of pneumonia.

There has since been a campaign to get The Pogues' most famous song, Fairytale Of New York, to number one for Christmas this year.

Originally released in 1987 and previously peaking at number two, the band's gritty festive song has never reached the top spot in the UK charts.

The song features a duet between English singer Kirsty MacColl - who died in December 2000 - and MacGowan.

It was originally written by MacGowan with fellow Pogues founder Jem Finer.

The song has returned to the UK Christmas top 40 every year since 2005 but never reached the top spot, according to the Official Charts Company.

The Pogues are also known for tracks A Pair of Brown Eyes and Dirty Old Town as well as a recording of The Irish Rover with The Dubliners.

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