Shane MacGowan’s widow Victoria thanks ‘tower of strength’ Johnny Depp

Victoria Mary Clarke has thanked actor and musician Johnny Depp for his “compassion and loyalty” towards her and her late husband, The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan.

The Anglo-Irish musician was laid to rest at a funeral in Ireland on Friday 9 December, with the rock’n’roll-style ceremony attended by stars including Nick Cave, Sir Bob Geldof, and Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen.

Footage from inside St Mary of the Rosary Church showed an appropriately raucous send-off for the irrepressible musician, including a rousing singalong to his biggest hit, “Fairytale of New York”, led by Irish singers Glen Hansard and Lisa O’Neill. Cave performed “A Rainy Night in Soho” on the piano.

Depp, who played the guitar at MacGowan’s wedding to Clarke in Amsterdam in 2018, was pictured carrying MacGowan’s coffin into the church, following a procession through central Dublin.

He also delivered a reading of the Prayer of the Faithful during the service.

“When you lose a loved one you need to be able to focus on the blessings and I want to thank [Johnny Depp] for being a tower of strength and for supporting me and Shane MacGowan in so many ways with such respect and compassion and loyalty,” Irish author Clarke wrote on X/Twitter.

She also shared a photo of her and Depp together holding a red rose each, tagging his close friend Gina Deuters as the photographer.

Thousands of mourners lined the streets to say a final farewell to MacGowan, who died on 30 November aged 65. Clarke said the cause of death was pneumonia.

His coffin, which was carried during the procession in a glass horse-drawn carriage, was adorned with the Irish tricolour, along with black and white photos of the singer in his youth.

Hundreds more gathered in the small town of Nenagh in Co Tipperary for the service.

“Far from a sombre affair, the funeral was filled with music, laughter and appreciation,” The Independent’s Barney Davis reported. “Time and again the walls of the old church seemed to shake as spontaneous rounds of applause broke out.”

 (Shane MacGowan, Twitter)
(Shane MacGowan, Twitter)

In her eulogy, Clarke described MacGowan as "a genius and a beautiful soul", as she presented symbols marking her husband's life, including the Crock Of Gold book of his art and lyrics, and a tray that his former bandmate Spider Stacy would “bash over Shane's head” during gigs.

MacGowan “really did live so close to the edge that he seemed like he was going to fall off many times”, she said, adding that he was never interested in being “normal”.

She is supporting a campaign to get “Fairytale of New York” to the top of the charts in time for Christmas.

The single, widely regarded as one of the best Christmas songs of all time, previously peaked at No 2 upon its release in 1987. It is currently battling it out with Wham!’s festive hit, “Last Christmas”, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”.