Gangster Dave Courtney was battling cancer before he was found dead from a gunshot wound with a pillow over his face.
The 64-year-old hardman – who was the inspiration for Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Big Chris – was found in his famous Camelot Castle pad yesterday.
Courtney 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 and was in pain from the disease and arthritis attacking his body,
His family said in a statement this morning: ‘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, rather than be a burden to his family and friends, he chose to ‘stop the ride’ and take his way out.
Former London gangster Dave Courtney in Cannes in 2001 to promote two films in which he starred
The hardman – who was the inspiration for Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrel’s Big Chris – ended his life in his famous Camelot Castle pad
Dave Courtney and wife JennyBean with daughter Courtney celebrating her music award
Dave Courtney ‘s daughter Lillie Eliza Berr poses with her father in this candid photograph
Scotland prostitute Yard is investigating his ‘unexpected’ death and a heavy police presence remains outside his home today
‘In his own immortal words, ‘stop the ride, I want to get off’.’