Inside Shane MacGowan’s gruelling health battle – 'bones turning to dust', losing every tooth and boozing from age five | The Sun

SHANE MacGowan's wife has asked for "prayers and healing vibes" as her husband'shealth situation deteriorates.

The Pogues singer, 64, whose Christmas anthem Fairytale of New York has sold millions of copies, was rushed to hospital yesterday.

Wife Victoria May Clarke, who has been with him for 35 years, did not reveal what caused the hospital dash, only stating that she was "really hoping to get out asap".

It’s the latest in a long line of health battles Shane has suffered including drug and drink addiction, broken bones and extensive dental work.

'Bones turned to dust'

Shane’s mobility was dramatically reduced after a 2015 fall, which left him with a broken pelvis. 

It’s unclear what caused the accident, although Victoria claimed he was “doing a complicated dance move”. 


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At the time, Shane told Vice that he “fell the wrong way”, which left him “lame in one leg” and unable to walk without a crutch. 

The singer was forced to use a wheelchair in the years that followed and last year, his injuries worsened after he fell and broke his knee shortly after tearing a ligament.

Victoria confirmed Shane was bedbound by the accident, left in a brace and struggling to eat. 

While receiving physical therapy, Shane told the New York Times: "You find out your bones are turned to dust."

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His mobility was no better by April this year. Victoria told The Guardian that Shane “can’t walk anymore” and that he needs to use his wheelchair full-time. 

Shane is aided by his wife and a carer at their home in Dublin, where he needs help to get out of bed. 

Victoria added: “I definitely want to help him to stay alive for as long as possible.”

Drug and alcohol abuse 

Shane has long been known for his struggle with alcohol and drugs.

Famously, Sinead O’Connor reported him to London police for drug possession in a bid to stop him from using heroin.

Shane’s battles are well-documented and during his heyday, he would often perform and give interviews while drunk. 

He revealed he was five years old when his family gave him Guinness to help him fall asleep and as he got older his dad took him to the pub.

Shane once said: "I was smoking and drinking and gambling before I could talk."

But Victoria said his drinking problems stemmed from “singing in bars and clubs” and said: “His whole career has revolved around it.”

As a result, she believed his career had “been both enhanced and simultaneously inhibited by it”.

Victoria thought her husband had changed drastically from the first she met him.

In April, she said: “He was very much a hell-raiser, who would drink everything that was in front of him, take any drug you could think of and always step out in front of cars.”

Last year, she told the New York Times it was "a couple of years" since she had "seen him drunk" and instead, he uses cannabis.

Teeth troubles

Even in the music video for 1987 hit Fairytale of New York, many noted the concerning appearance of Shane’s teeth. 

By 2008, he had none of his original gnashers left after years of smoking twinned with drug and alcohol abuse 

Seven years after Shane lost the last of his teeth, he underwent a nine-hour procedure to fit him with 28 glowing dentures on a titanium frame and a gold tooth.

It was filmed for the UK doc Shane MacGowan: A Wreck Reborn.

'Regrets… but glad to be alive'

Shane has had multiple hospital visits in recent years, during which he sleeps in a “sumptuous” bed.

He told The Spectator: “Sometimes people visit, or we go out to dinner, or sometimes I end up in hospital.

“If I don't end up in hospital, I thank Jesus and His Holy Mother and all the saints and angels." 

Despite his self-destructive habits, Shane admitted he’s “glad to be alive” and “grateful to wake up”.

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Recently, Victoria added that he “never seems to want not to live”.

During that same interview, Shane was asked if he had any regrets about the way he lived his life, to which he replied: “Of course!”

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