Final pic of Pogues icon Shane MacGowan following tragic death as tributes pour in | The Sun

THE last ever picture of Shane MacGowan shows the Pogues legend in good spirits.

The Fairytale of New York singer tragically passed away today after an eight-year long health battle.

Shane had been receiving treatment for viral encephalitis – a serious condition which leads to brain swelling.

He had been rushed to hospital as his wife Victoria Mary Clarke stayed by his side.

The singer remained in good spirits throughout his treatment, which included being put on a breathing apparatus, and was sent home last week.

Victoria said when they got home: "Shane got out of the hospital! We are deeply and eternally grateful to all of the doctors and nurses and staff at St Vincent’s it’s the best!



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"And special thanks to Tom Creagh and Brian Corscadden for your help".

She shared a snap of the Fairytale of New York star from his hospital bed, rocking a hat and scarf and beaming from ear to ear.

But devastated Victoria Mary confirmed he died at 3am on November 30 and paid emotional tribute to her "beautiful angel".

She said: "I don't know how to say this so I am just going to say it.

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"Shane who will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese.

"I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures.

"There's no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world.

"Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence in this world you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music.

"You will live in my heart forever. Rave on in the garden all wet with rain that you loved so much. You meant the world to me."

It comes as..

  • Legendary singer Shane MacGowan has died age 65
  • Shane's loving wife paid tribute to her 'beautiful angel'
  • The rock wildman defied critics who said he had ‘death wish’
  • Fans have shared their heartbreak for the loss of the Irish frontman

Shane had been hospitalised a number of times since the diagnosis and was thought to have been admitted again in June, but Victoria had not revealed the exact reasons why.

In a previous post on social media, Victoria thanked everyone for their kind messages and support while the icon battled the dangerous brain condition from hospital.

His loving wife wrote: "I just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone who has been messaging me and ⁦@ShaneMacGowan⁩ and thank you ⁦@spiderstacy⁩ and Terry Woods for coming to visit him.

"Love and prayers for everyone who is struggling right now. Hang in there!"

The singer's health had deteriorated over the last few years, following an accident in 2015 when he broke his pelvis.

The injury left him unable to walk without a crutch and Shane was forced to use a wheelchair in the years that followed.

Last year, his injuries worsened after another fall saw the singer break his knee shortly after tearing a ligament which left him bedbound and struggling to eat.

Shane had been aided by his wife and a carer at their home in Dublin.

Victoria previously said: "I definitely want to help him to stay alive for as long as possible."


Born on Christmas Day in Pembury, Kent, in 1957 to Irish parents, Shane soon moved to rural Tipperary where he was immersed in an Irish culture of ceili bands and showbands.

The family later moved back to England and MacGowan earned a literature scholarship to the prestigious Westminster School in London but was expelled in his second year when he was caught in possession of drugs.

MacGowan became involved with the burgeoning punk movement in 1970s England. He formed his own punk band before a revival in ethnic musical influences led him to form The Pogues in 1982.

The band played traditional Irish and rebel songs given new life by an injection of the energy, anger and anarchy of punk.

Dismissed by many initially as an embarrassing slice of Paddywhackery, the Pogues survived and then thrived due to the unexpected quality and depth of MacGowan's songwriting.

The band reached their critical peak with the 1985 album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, and their commercial peak with 1988's If I Should Fall from Grace with God.

The latter provided the band with their biggest hit, MacGowan duetting with Kirsty MacColl on Fairytale of New York. Although it was kept off the coveted festive number one spot by The Pet Shop Boys, Fairytale regularly tops polls for the best Christmas song.

However, MacGowan's erratic lifestyle and prodigious drinking began to dim his creative output and limited his ability to fulfil live commitments and promotional activities.

Eventually, The Pogues sacked him in 1991 for his increasingly unreliable behaviour.

He later claimed he had not been sober a single day in his life since he was 14.

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MacGowan formed his own band The Popes and toured extensively.

MacGowan began performing with The Pogues again in 2001 and continued to tour with the band for several years, although no new music was recorded.

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