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Shane MacGowan's widow Victoria Mary Clarke spent 35 years worrying he was about to die

The late Pogues singer's wife admitted he had "pushed the boundaries so much of what humans can do to their bodies."

What did you miss?

Shane MacGowan's widow Victoria Mary Clarke has admitted she had feared the Irish singer's death for 35 years.

The Pogues frontman died aged 65 on Thursday, 30th November after spending some time in hospital.

The Fairytale of New York singer was known to be a heavy drinker and had battled drug abuse and his wife admitted that he "pushed the boundaries so much of what humans can do to their bodies."

Shane MacGowan's wife Victoria Mary Clarke has worn her heart on her sleeve while detailing her grief of losing her husband.
Shane MacGowan's wife Victoria Mary Clarke has worn her heart on her sleeve while detailing her grief of losing her husband. (ITV screengrab)

What, how, and why?

Clarke appeared on Good Morning Britain less than a week after losing MacGowan to discuss her experience of grief.

The 57-year-old Irish journalist said: "The biggest fear you probably have is that you're going to lose a loved one. It's going to happen, you can't get around that. You're all going to lose a loved one.

Victoria Mary Clarke with Shane MacGowan in 2015. (Shutterstock)
Victoria Mary Clarke said Shane MacGowan pushed the boundaries of what the human body can do. (Shutterstock)

"I know that for me, I spent many, many years, probably 35 years, worrying about losing Shane because he was so... Ooh what's the word, he just pushed the boundaries so much of what humans can do to their bodies.

Shane MacGowan, Victoria Mary Clarke Where: Dublin, Ireland When: 24 Dec 2014 Credit: WENN.com
Shane MacGowan's wife Victoria Mary Clarke had worried about him dying for many years. (Alamy)

"So I dreaded that and I thought I would fall asleep, I thought I would die [when he died]. I thought I would be comatose or on drugs myself or something like that."

She went on: "So I just want you all to know that it's not as bad as you think it would be.

"And there's a huge amount of love that comes your way when you lose someone. And in my case I've been overwhelmed by how much love there is."

Victoria Mary Clarke waves to audience during presentation of documentary film Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan at 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF), on August 27, 2021, in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Credit: Slavomir Kubes/CTK Photo/Alamy Live News
Shane MacGowan's widow Victoria Mary Clarke admitted she feared his death for 35 years. (Alamy)

MacGowan married journalist Clarke in 2018 having been in a relationship for more than 35 years including an 11-year engagement.

They tied the knot at City Hall in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, with Hollywood actor Johnny Depp attending the ceremony and singing at their wedding. The couple lived together in Dublin in the years before the singer's death.

Shane MacGowan and Victoria Clarke attend the European premiere of 'Lincoln' on January 20, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Phillip Massey/WireImage)
Shane MacGowan and Victoria Mary Clarke were together for over 35 years. (Getty Images)

MacGowan was famous for his heavy drinking and had a reputation for performing while intoxicated. He also had a history of drug abuse. These contributed to his poor health and he lost the last of his own teeth around 2008.

In 2016 Clarke reported he was sober "for the first time in years", citing a serious bout of pneumonia and a long stay in hospital as the main contributing factor.

He had used a wheelchair since he broke his pelvis in 2015.

In 2021 he fell and broke a knee, as well as tearing ligaments in his knee joint. In April 2022 he confirmed he can no longer walk.

Just before Christmas 2022 it was revealed he had suffered rare brain condition encephalitis which can cause loss of movement and speech problems.


Portrait of British musician Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Irish musician Shane MacGowan, the latter of the group the Pogues, as they pose together, each holding a toy gun with one hand and, in the other, a Christmas cracker over an inflatable Santa Claus, 1987. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan collaborated on Fairytale of New York in 1988. (Tim Roney/Getty Images)

When is Shane MacGowan's funeral?

Shane MacGowan's funeral is open to the public and will take place on Friday, 8th December 2023.

The funeral Mass will be given at St Mary of the Rosary Catholic Church in Nenagh, county Tipperary, Ireland.

MacGowan is survived by his father Maurice and his sister Siobhan who both live nearby.

The singer regularly returned to his home county and often visited Philly Ryan's pub in Nenagh.

MacGowan died complications from pneumonia.

Good Morning Britain airs on ITV from 6am to 9am from Monday to Friday.


Read more: Shane MacGowan

Watch: Shane MacGowan's public funeral to be held in Tipperary