Shane MacGowan health battles – addiction fight, hospital dash and cant walk

Shane MacGowan has been rushed to hospital, with his wife Victoria Mary Clarke asking fans to send prayers for the Irish singer.

The Pogues frontman, famed for his iconic 1988 Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York, has returned to hospital to receive more medical care, his wife confirmed.

The Irish hitmaker, 74 is currently bound to a wheelchair, but he has suffered a range of serious health issues over the years, including drug battles, broken bones and dental dramas.

READ MORE:The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan unrecognisable as he warns fans ‘bring lots of money’

Daily Star have dug up Shane's biggest health battles as the legendary musician recovers in hospital.


Shane has been forced to use a wheelchair following a life-changing accident in the summer of 2015 where he fractured his pelvis.

The singer was leaving a Dublin studio at the time when he fell "the wrong way" and broke his pelvis, which left him unable to walk without a crutch.

Later that year, he told Vice: "It was a fall and I fell the wrong way. I broke my pelvis, which is the worst thing you can do. I'm lame in one leg, I can't walk around the room without a crutch.

"I am getting better, but it's taking a very long time. It's the longest I've ever taken to recover from an injury. And I've had a lot of injuries."

Things got worse for MacGowan last year when he fell and broke his knee in February, shortly after tearing a ligament.

His wife confirmed that it left the singer bed-bound, in a brace and without appetite at the time.

In April 2022 Shane confirmed he "can't walk any more" and that he uses the wheelchair to travel about.

The star, who has been undergoing physical therapy, told the Irish Times: "You find out your bones are turned to dust."

Addiction battles

The Pogues singer has famously struggled with alcohol and drug abuse over the years – it's even gotten him into trouble with the law.

Fellow Irish star Sinéad O'Connor reported MacGowan to the police in London for drug possession in a bid to stop him using heroin.

In an interview with Livewire, Shane admitted he was furious with the singer at first but was grateful to her as it helped him end his relationship with the Class A drug.

Years of alcohol abuse has also taken its toll on the folk-punk star, who used to indulge in binge drinking and has performed on stage and given interviews while drunk.

Shane began drinking at the young age of five when his family gave him Guinness to help him sleep, and his father would often take him to the local pub as he drank with his pals.

In 2016, wife Victoria explained that Shane's drinking problems stemmed from "singing in bars and clubs and other venues where people go to drink and have fun."

She added: "His whole career has revolved around it [alcohol] and, indeed, been both enhanced and simultaneously inhibited by it"

In a separate interview in 2022, "When I met him, 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."

Victoria revealed that Shane was sober for the first time in several years back in 2016, but the rocker appeared to have enjoyed a drink earlier this year at his book launch in Dublin.

Hospital dash

Shane's latest hospital visit was announced on Monday by Victoria, who took to Twitter to update fans about how he was doing.

She told fans: "Please send prayers and healing vibes to @ShaneMacGowan in hospital again and really hoping to get out asap!! Thank you."

The Fairytale of New York singer now needs daily help from carers due to his mobility issues, with his wife confirming she helps provide such care.

In an interview with The Spectator, MacGowan says he sleeps in a "sumptuous" hospital bed and is "glad to be alive" and "grateful to wake up" when he wakes up.

He added: "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."

Dental dramas

Shane lost the last of his natural teeth around 2008, so he decided to get a new set of gnashers in 2015.

His brand new set of teeth came after a nine-hour procedure and includes a gold tooth and 28 glowing new dentures on a titanium frame.

The whole process of Shane's teeth journey was recorded in the documentary, A Wreck Reborn.

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Shane previously tried dentures back in 2009 but said they were "a botch" job, but his latest set means he's been able to enjoy a more varied diet again.

The dentist who fitted them said of it: "We’ve effectively retuned his instrument and that will be an ongoing process."

He added: "There was a moving moment when someone gave Shane an apple to eat … something he hadn’t done in 20 years."


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