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Shane MacGowan’s cause of death revealed as wife honours “the blessings he brought”

Shane MacGowan‘s cause of death has been revealed after The Pogues frontman’s passing last week.

  • READ MORE: Shane MacGowan, 1957-2023: an uncompromising, chaotic one of a kind 

The Irish singer-songwriter died from pneumonia in hospital, aged 65, on November 30, as shared by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke in The New York Times.

He died “peacefully” and was surrounded by his family, while tributes have since poured in for the ‘Fairytale Of New York’ musician from the likes of Nick Cave and U2.

Details around MacGowan’s death come after Clarke shared on social media that her husband was “so determined to live only a few days ago”.

In another fresh tribute shared over the weekend, she wrote that “losing Shane has been the thing that I feared most for a very long time, almost since we first got together”.

Clarke added in an Instagram post: “I just wanted to say that there has been so much love and support from so many people that it’s like being on the Titanic and then finding a life raft.

“It’s rough and it’s choppy and it’s freezing and scary but there is a feeling that safety is not too far away. Some of the messages and gestures of support have been incredibly moving and unexpected and I really really hope that Shane can see how much he is loved by so many people of all ages and kinds.”

The Irish journalist and author went on to describe her late husband as a “very shy guy who didn’t really share his deepest self with very many people even though he was also a true humanitarian and he really loved humanity in a weirdly forgiving way”.

She added that he was “very reluctant to ever judge anyone”, “strongly believed in forgiveness” and was “genuinely uninterested in celebrity and he respected all people no matter if they were a taxi driver or a novelist and he would always want to find out what he could about people”.

The post went on: “He could be alarmingly authentic and he definitely sometimes lacked diplomacy! He never walked past a homeless person without stopping for a chat and to give them a decent wad of cash and a cigarette if they wanted one. He never judged anyone with addictions because he understood where they were coming from.

“He inspired me to open my heart to strangers everywhere we went and to see the beauty in the most unlikely things and people. I am doing my best to focus on all of the many things that he taught me and the blessings that he brought me. Thank you to everyone who is sharing this love and I hope that if you are facing a similar situation you will feel comfort and support and you will be able to access the grace and gratitude for what you have had together.”

Clarke confirmed MacGowan’s cause of death in statement last week, writing: “Shane will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love of my life”.

Details of his funeral have since been shared, which will see the musician put to rest in County Tipperary, where he spent his childhood growing up before leaving aged 6 for Kent.

Nick Cave paid tribute to his close friend by describing MacGowan as “the greatest songwriter of his generation”, before penning a lengthier tribute to MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor following their deaths.

Pete Doherty echoed the sentiment, remembering him as one of the best lyricists of “the last 30 or 40 years”, while Bruce Springsteen wrote his own tribute, describing MacGowan as “one of my all-time favourite writers”.

Musical tributes, meanwhile, have been paid by U2, who performed a cover of The Pogues’ ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ at Las Vegas’ Sphere. Glen Hansard also led a group of Irish musicians in a version of the song.

After his death, fans began rallying to get The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale Of New York’ to Christmas Number One – it’s since re-entered the Top 40.

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