The Pogues Shane MacGowan tragic end of life – health trouble to hospital dashes

The Pogues legend Shane MacGowan has sadly died at the age of 65 after numerous health issues – however he kept a positive outlook until the end.

The Fairytale Of New York singer was regularly seen on social media smiling despite being bed-bound or in hospital. Sadly, it looked like things were going downhill for the star recently.

Just weeks ago, his wife Victoria Mary Clarke posted a photo of Shane in a hospital gown and bed. Despite his failing health, he appeared upbeat.

READ MORE: The Pogues' Shane MacGowan dies aged 65 after health battle left him unable to walk

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She captioned the photo: "Shane is praying for peace and love for everyone in the world." And fans and followers were happy to see him smiling still.

Sadly, it was announced on November 30 that Shane had died after his long health battle. His wife confirmed the news with an emotional statement, saying: "Shane will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life".

Health issues

Shane had had health issues for a number of years. He had been battling encephalitis, which causes inflammation on the brain.

He had been hospitalised almost 10 years ago after falling getting out of a van. He fractured his pelvis, but his sister Siobhan said he would not need surgery to recover.

A year later, in 2016, he ended up in hospital again with "an excruciating pain in his hip". Then in 2020, he fell again.

This time, he broke his knee and tore his ligaments. The accident saw him bed-bound and unable to eat "for days" as he lost his appetite.

But his real troubles came in December last year, when he was hospitalised and diagnosed with encephalitis. He went on to be hospitalised again in July this year due to an infection.

Shane had been pictured in recent years using a wheelchair. It was believed he was unable to walk.

Recently, Shane was discharged and able to go home before the Christmas period. Sadly, he didn't make it to the big day.


Shane had struggled with binge drinking for much of his life. He took his first sip at the young age of five and would spend time in pubs with his dad.

His wife Victoria spoke about his difficult time with alcohol back in 2016. She told The Independent his "work and drinking had always gone hand in hand".

Victoria explained that his life revolved around being in environments where heavy drinking was the norm, due to his career as a musician. "If anyone is not drinking, it is unusual in these places," she said.

She went on: "So the drinking has not just been a recreational activity, his whole career has revolved around it and, indeed, been both enhanced and simultaneously inhibited by it." It wasn't just alcohol, though.

Victoria also said her husband had struggled with Class A drugs. He would later go on a "total detox" after he was hospitalised in 2016, when his drinking also stopped.

Tragic death

On Thursday, November 30, Shane's wife Victoria announced the tragic news that he had died. She shared an old photo of him and broke the news to fans.

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

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"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."

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