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‘My heart is bursting open with love’: Shane MacGowan’s wife gives emotional update ahead of Pogues star’s funeral
7 December 2023, 16:30 | Updated: 7 December 2023, 16:31
Shane MacGowan’s wife has given an emotional update following the Pogues star's death, as she said she's in disbelief his funeral will take place on Friday.
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Victoria Mary Clarke was by her husband's side when Shane MacGowan died "peacefully" last week - weeks before his 66th birthday on Christmas Day.
The singer’s death sparked an outpouring of grief and tributes for the star who was best known for his iconic Christmas hit, Fairytale of New York.
In an emotional update shared by his wife, featuring a throwback snap of the pair, Victoria revealed she is in disbelief that his funeral is set to take place on Friday.
She wrote on Instagram: “Tomorrow is Shane’s funeral which is hard to believe and probably I won’t believe it for a while.
“Shane hated funerals and he refused to go to them with a few rare exceptions. So it’s incredible to think that so many people want to come to his and that so many beautiful people are pouring their hearts and souls into making it magnificent and magical and memorable for him and for us who are left behind.
“I am feeling my heart bursting open in all directions with the amount of love that is being showered on us and most especially because everyone has their own problems and challenges and everyone has their own loved ones who they need to look after.
“I feel that Shane is with me all the time and that he is feeling intense appreciation and gratitude and that he is still sending love to everyone and maybe in a more powerful way from where he is now.”
MacGowan was diagnosed with encephalitis following his latest bout of ill health and after years of alcohol and substance abuse.
His wife had been giving updates in recent weeks on the star’s health before revealing in late November that he had recently been discharged from St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.
She said he died of pneumonia.
Victoria continued in her update: “I couldn’t have possibly asked for a more precious and enduring love affair as a human and I got so much from my relationship with Shane that it would be greedy to want more!
“I would love to say to anyone who is in a relationship with someone who has problems with addiction or anxiety or depression to please get healing and help for yourself, and to take care of yourself and you will find that it gives you the strength to keep going and to be able to enjoy your love.
“And to anyone who is in fear of losing someone just know that millions of angels are watching you and supporting you.
“And if you don’t want to come to the funeral Shane would definitely understand, he wouldn’t want to go either! But if you want to remember him, the next time you see a homeless person stop and give them your time and your compassion and your respect and treat them like a brother or a sister.”
Since the singer’s death, there has 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.