The family of a former London gangster-turned-author have told how he decided to “stop the ride”, after he took his own life on Sunday.

Dave Courtney was found dead in the early hours of the morning at his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead on Sunday morning (October 22).

Yesterday we launched a book of condolences for Dave's family and fans, friends and family have been leaving touching messages on social media. 

On Monday evening, Dave’s family released a statement on his social media accounts, stating that he decided to “stop the ride” and take his own way out.

The family said the “physical pain”, especially due to his cancer and arthritis, became “too much”.

A statement on behalf of the family of Dave Courtney said: “On 22 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’.”

Dave, who claimed to be an associate of 1960s gangland criminals the Kray twins, swapped an earlier life of crime for writing books in his later years.

He was found at his home in Chestnut Rise, Plumstead, on Sunday, having reportedly shot himself.

In his final Facebook post, Courtney could be seen watching Charlton Athletic win 4-0 against Reading on Saturday.

The ex-criminal enjoyed the “full works” at The Valley stadium, eating a three-course meal.

Dave was rumoured to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’ character in Guy Ritchie’s gangster film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels.

After turning to writing, he published six books, and starred in a film called Hell To Pay.