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23rd Oct 2023

Dave Courtney’s family issue statement following notorious gangster’s death

Joseph Loftus

‘Stop the ride, I want to get off’

Late last night (October 22), news emerged that Dave Courtney, the self-confessed former gangster turned actor, had been found dead at the age of 64.

The Londoner, who had claimed to have been an associate of the Kray twins, was found dead at his home on Chestnut Rise, Plumstead, in the early hours.

It was confirmed on his Instagram page that Courtney had taken his own life.

Courtney’s reps took to Instagram page to write: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dave Courtney at the age of 64. Dave tragically took his own life in the early hours of Sunday 22nd October with a firearm at his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead.

“Details about funeral arrangements will be provided in due course. His family ask for respect during this period of mourning.”

Met police said that they attended an address on Chestnut Rise at about 11.25am following reports of a deceased man.

The death is being treated as unexpected at the time of writing.

Courtney had been to see his team, Charlton Athletic, as they beat Reading 4-0 earlier in the day on Saturday. Courtney even shared snaps of the day on Facebook writing: “At Charlton today. Full works today. Three course meal. And what a cool day it’s all turning out to be.”

It’s been reported that following the dinner Courtney and friends stayed up drinking until the very early hours before he took his own life.

While Courtney claimed he had been involved in the London underworld for much of his younger life, much speculation has amounted over the years as to of whether or not any of it was true.

Courtney was especially accused by Essex Boys associate Bernard O’Mahoney and Frankie Fraser, a former member of the feared Richardson gang of the 1960s, who claimed Courtney had fabricated and embellished his past.

One of the biggest issues many take with Courtney’s claims was that he said he was involved in the planning of security for Ronnie Kray’s funeral, despite only being a child when they were convicted.

In the immediate aftermath of his death, Courtney’s family have issued a statement seemingly explaining the reason Courtney decided to take his own life.

They said: “On 22nd October 2023, Dave made the decision to stop the ride.

“He had lived an incredible, colourful rock n roll life in 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 rather than be a burden to his family and friends, he chose to ‘stop the ride’ and take his own way out.

“In his own immortal words, ‘stop the ride, I want to get off’.”

After leaving his alleged life of crime, Courtney appeared in many low-budget gangster films, as well as appearing on podcasts and in documentaries.

He is believed to have been the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’ character in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.