Dave Courtney killed himself after cancer and arthritis battles: ‘He chose to stop the ride’
After the notorious gangster-turned-actor and writer was found dead with a gunshot wound, Dave Courtney’s family have now confirmed he died by suicide after battling cancer and arthritis.
Dave Courtney died by suicide after battling cancer and arthritis, his family have announced.
The gangster-turned-actor and author – who was once an associate of the Kray twins and said to be the inspiration for Vinnie Jones’ Big Chris character in Guy Ritchie’s ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ film – was found dead on Sunday (22.10.23) aged 64 at his so-called ‘Camelot Castle’ house in London with a gunshot wound to the head.
His family have now released a statement that said: “On October 22 Dave made the decision to ‘stop the ride’.
“He had lived an incredible, colourful rock ’n’ roll life which he touched the hearts of so many.
“The physical pain of living the lifestyle he chose, especially due to the pain of both cancer and arthritis in his later years, became too much.
“So… he chose to ‘stop the ride’ and take his way out.
“In his own immortal words, ‘Stop the ride, I want to get off.’”
Dave’s family added: “Dave tragically took his own life in the early hours with a firearm at his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead. Details about funeral arrangements will be provided in due course.”
Dave is survived by his wife, Jenny, as well as his six children from previous relationships.
The self-proclaimed former gangster published six books and starred in a string of films.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police attended Dave’s property on Chestnut Rise, in Plumstead, south-east London, on Sunday, where they found the notorious hardman dead.
The Sun reported Dave’s death happened around 4am on Sunday.
Police are said to have been called to the ex-gangland figure’s property around 11am.
His death came hours after Dave shared a series of snaps as he watched his beloved Charlton Athletic football team play on Saturday.
Dave’s upset neighbour Sheila Wellcome, 68, told The Sun a friend of Dave’s rang to tell her on Sunday morning that he had been “shot”.
Retired finance office worker and gran-of-six Sheila told The Sun Dave owned around 12 decommissioned firearms including handguns, shotguns and rifles which he kept in his front room.
She added: “Police used to come round and check on them occasionally.
“To Dave, they were just ornaments.”
Dave referred to himself as Dave Courtney OBE – ‘One Big Ego’.
His death comes after he appeared in court in July for having knuckledusters, daggers and throwing stars in his home.
But Dave had the charges dropped against him after they were found to be props for a film.
In 2017 he suffered a minor heart attack which he vowed wouldn’t be the end of him.
He had also claimed to have been shot, stabbed and had his nose bitten off, during a life of crime and violence.
Dave appeared as a gangster in a series of low-rent crime films including ‘Six Bend Trap’, ‘The Dead Sleep Easy’, ‘Killer B****’, ‘Mob Handed’ and ‘Mother’s Child’ alongside actors such as Craig Charles and Nick Moran.
He had been writing his 10th book and recently told about how proud he was of his life, adding: “I’m a lucky man. If I was to die tomorrow I would die smiling. I’ve got beautiful friends. Had far too many beautiful ladies in my life.”