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Fans call for ‘Fairytale of New York’ to hit Christmas Number One after Shane MacGowan’s death

The song is also the bookies' favourite to hit the festive top spot.

By Nick Reilly

Shane MacGowan (Picture: Wikicommons)

Fans of The Pogues have been rallying for ‘Fairytale Of New York’ to secure Christmas Number One after the death of singer Shane MacGowan.

MacGowan’s death was confirmed earlier today in a statement issued on behalf of his wife Victoria Clarke, father Maurice and sister Siobhan.

“It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Shane MacGowan,” it said.

“Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning (30 November, 2023) with his wife Victoria and family by his side. Prayers and the last rites were read which gave comfort to his family,” read the statement. He was age 65.”

In the wake of MacGowan’s death, fans have ramped up efforts for ‘Fairytale of New York’, the band’s seminal festive song, to secure Christmas Number One, having only peaked at Number Two upon release back in 1987.

“RIP Shane McGowan. Fairytale of New York will forever be the greatest Christmas song of all time,” wrote one fan. “This Christmas it will be especially poignant. Lets make it the Christmas Number one.”

Another said: “Fairytale of New York has never reached number one in the UK. I think that might possibly change.”

In addition, the song is now the favourite with several bookmakers to hit the festive top spot.

Tributes have flooded in for MacGowan since his death. His close friend Nick Cave said MacGowan was “a true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation. A very sad day.”

Fontaines D.C. frontman Grian Chatten, meanwhile, said he would “love him forever”.

MacGowan’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed, but he was most recently hospitalised in June –  just months after he was previously admitted in December last year with viral encephalitis – a condition that causes the brain to swell.