Dave Courtney mourners let off balloons at gangster’s favourite pub and gather outside his South London ‘Camelot Castle’ home as they bid farewell to street thug-turned-celeb who shot himself with a pistol
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Mourners chanted and let off balloons as they gathered to bid farewell to street thug-turned-celebrity Dave Courtney, who shot himself with a pistol last week.
Huge crowds congregated at the gangster’s favourite pub, the Royal Oak in Charlton, south London last night, to remember the 64-year-old with a series of events.
Footage shows the group of several dozen people cheering and singing ‘Dave Courtney, he’s one of our own’ as they released 1,000 red and white balloons into the air following Charlton Athletic’s defeat to Bolton Wanderers.
A ‘celebration of Dave’s life’ was then held at his famous ‘Camelot Castle’ home in Plumstead, where there was a book of commemoration for mourners to leave their own personal tributes.
Courtney had been to watch his beloved Charlton last weekend before returning home during the early hours of Sunday morning and shooting himself.
Crowds gather outside The Royal Oak pub in Charlton on Saturday night to remember Dave Courtney
A ‘celebration of Dave’s life’ was then held at his famous ‘Camelot Castle’ home in Plumstead, where there was a book of commemoration for mourners to leave their own personal tributes
The hardman was the inspiration for Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Big Chris
Mourners chanted and let off balloons as they gathered to bid farewell to street thug-turned-celebrity Dave Courtney, who shot himself with a pistol last week
His housemate later discovered the gangster-turned-actor’s body in his bed. Police are treating the incident as non-suspicious.
It comes as a video emerged earlier this week of Courtney apologising for taking what he called ‘the cowards’ way out’ – but told how arthritis was ‘crippling me up’.
READ MORE: Dave Courtney’s ex-girlfriend tells how the late hardman was ‘a big softie’ at heart
Courtney’s goodbye message was filmed on July 5 this year but was only discovered on his mobile phone by close friends after his death.
In the emotional video, the ex-gangster begged his friends and family not to be sad.
At the start of the self-recorded three minute and 33 second clip, he rubs his nose and says: ‘As you can all see I am of sound mind and body. Sorry, I took the coward’s way out.
‘Don’t go racking your brains and thinking why I would do this…I’ll tell you why.
‘No woman trouble or anything like that. I am hurting. And disguising a lot of pain.’
Wearing a black Adidas t-shirt and looking intently into the lens with his guns and swords mounted on the wall behind him, he then goes on to discuss how his arthritis ‘is crippling me’.
‘I can’t get up and down the stairs and in and out of the car,’ he says.
‘I am not enjoying it [life] at the moment. That is really it and I don’t want to waste a wicked life that I have had. It has been superb. Any day I can think back on, it was funny and brilliant.’
He said he did not want to waste the ‘wicked life he had’ by spending the rest of it in pain by not taking his own life because he ‘did not want to upset anybody else’.
He added: ‘I am not enjoying it and I do what I want. That really is why I am not here today. Don’t be sad. Please don’t be sad.’
He denied long standing rumours that he had been’ a police grass’ and said he had kept more than 100 friends out of prison due to his police contacts.
Friends and family of Dave Courtney came together at his favourite pub last night to remember the former gangster
A thousand balloons were let off by loved ones from the Royal Oak pub in Charlton on Saturday
Dave Courtney smiles as he is pictured in his house ‘Camelot Castle’ in Plumstead, south London, last year
The gates outside Dave Courtney’s famous ‘Camelot Castle’ home on Saturday night
Courtney’s housemate of 32 years Brendan McGirr, 57, had spent what would turn out to be his last evening with him on Saturday watching England lose to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-final before saying goodnight
Friends and family gathered outside his favourite pub last night to commemorate the 64-year-old
The balloons were red and white, the colours of the gangster’s beloved Charlton Athletic
Courtney’s housemate of 32 years Brendan McGirr, 57, had spent what would turn out to be his last evening with him on Saturday watching England lose to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-final before saying goodnight.
Hours later he found him dead with a pillow over his face, with a Glock pistol lying on the floor.
Mr McGirr revealed Courtney’s last known words were him ironically joking about England’s last minute loss, telling his pal ‘that’s typical, I’m going to bed’.
The hardman – who was the inspiration for Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Big Chris – had been in high spirits after watching a football match with friends and drinking into the earlier hours of Sunday morning.
But he had been secretly battling cancer while pain from his arthritis riddled his body. His family confirmed he made the decision to ‘stop the ride’.
For confidential support call Samaritans on 116123 or visit www.samaritans.org
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