Shane MacGowan’s widow said she had worried about his death for 35 years because he “pushed the limits of what people can do with their bodies”.
The Pogues frontman, best known for the classic Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York, died “peacefully” last week at the age of 65.
This was told by the Irish journalist Victoria Mary Clarke ON TV‘s Good Morning Britain: “I loved standing on the side of the stage and watching him. It wasn’t always easy, as you know, because he pushed the boundaries and he was reckless and he was very unconventional.
“So it was like watching a racing driver and not knowing if they were going to crash, watching him go on stage.”
MacGowan had been diagnosed with encephalitis following his latest bout of ill health and following years of alcohol and drug abuse.
Mrs Clarke, 57, continued: “I think for most of you watching, the biggest fear you probably have is that you’re going to lose a loved one.
“And it’s going to happen, you can’t really avoid it, you’re all going to lose a loved one.
“And I know that for me, I spent many, many years, probably at least 35 years, worrying about losing Shane because he just pushed the boundaries so much of what people can do with their bodies.
“So I dreaded it and I thought I was going to fall apart, I thought I was going to die, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to speak, I thought I was going to be in a coma or even on drugs or something like that.
“So I just want you all to know that it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be. And there’s a tremendous amount of love that comes your way when you lose someone that you don’t really expected. And in my case, you know, I’ve been overwhelmed by how much love and support there is.”
Asked how MacGowan would have felt about the outpouring of support, Ms Clarke said: “Me and Shane, we spent most of our lives in recent years sitting at home watching The Crown.
“We didn’t really go out, so we didn’t know much about what was going on in the outside world.
“We had a very quiet life, very, very happy and we didn’t want anything else. We just wanted to sit here together and watch TV.
“But knowing now that there are all these people out there who feel so strongly about him, you lose with one hand but you receive with the other, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.”
The song Fairytale of New York is now in contention to score the coveted Christmas number one spot, a feat that was not achieved when it was originally released in 1987, after peaking at number two in the charts.
Ms Clarke said MacGowan “wouldn’t mind if Fairytale goes to number one”.
“I don’t think it’s ever been that important to him because I think he really appreciated the fact that so many people love it and it means so much to so many people and to be number one isn’t really just about being appreciated.”
Fairytale Of New York features a duet between English singer Kirsty MacColl – who died in December 2000 – and MacGowan.
It was originally written by MacGowan with fellow Pogues founder Jem Finer.
The song has returned to the UK Christmas Top 40 every year since 2005.
MacGowan’s death was met with an outpouring of tributeincluding from Bruce Springsteen who said people would be “singing Shane’s songs 100 years from now”.