Shane MacGowan: what health issues did he have, is his cause of death known?

Shane MacGowan was recently discharged from St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin
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The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has died aged 65 after series of health battles, it has been announced. His wife Victoria confirmed his passing and has reportedly said that he died from pneumonia as plans for his funeral are revealed.

After a recent health update, Fairytale of New York shot up the bookies odds to become the favourite for Christmas No. 1 in 2023. The Pogues have not managed to grab the top spot on the festive chart so far.

Kirsty MacColl, who featured on the seasonal favourite, died in a tragic boat accident while on holiday in 2000. It means that both singers on Fairytale of New York have passed away.

Shane MacGowan's death was announced on Thursday, 30 November, and it comes after a period of ill health. But what health issues did he have?

Here's all you need to know:

Shane MacGowan of The Pogues has died aged 65.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)Shane MacGowan of The Pogues has died aged 65.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Shane MacGowan of The Pogues has died aged 65. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

What health troubles did Shane MacGowan have?

The Pogues singer was hospitalised in 2022 with an infection and he revealed on New Year's Eve that year he had been diagnosed with encephalitis. It is is an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed, according to the NHS website.

It was reported in July 2023 that Shane MacGowan was in intensive care in hospital in Dublin, he was said to be receiving treatment for a lingering infection. He had been receiving care in St Vincent’s Hospital and was discharged last week.

In 2015 he had a fall in a studio in Dublin and fractured his pelvis. As a result he used a wheelchair and continued to do so in the years afterwards.

MacGowan was also known for a long time for having bad teeth and lost the last of his natural teeth around 2008. However in 2015 he underwent dental surgery and had a full set of teeth fitted - which was the subject of a documentary Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn.

He was a heavy binge drinker for many years, reportedly having his first pint of Guinness aged five. MacGowan became sober in 2016 after spending time in hospital with a bout of pneumonia.

Is Shane MacGowan's cause of death known?

He had reportedly been receiving treatment for an infection recently. However his cause of death has not been announced.

According to PA, the New York Times have reported that his wife said that Shane MacGowan died from pneumonia. He died "peacefully" at his home at 3am on Thursday, 30 November.

In a post on Instagram, his wife Victoria 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.

“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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