Former gangster-turned-author Dave Courtney has been cremated in a private ceremony today (Tuesday).

He died aged 64 at his home on Chestnut Rise in Plumstead on October 22 after reportedly taking his own life while suffering rapid ruminal arthritis. 

A statement on behalf of his family said: “As per Dave’s final wishes, he was cremated at 11:00am on Tuesday, November 7, in a private ceremony. 

“Dave’s family have been touched by the outpouring of love and support since his passing and are so thankful for everyone who had made contact.” 

Courtney, who claimed to be an associate of the notorious Kray twins, was rumoured to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’s character in Guy Ritchie’s gangster film Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels. 

However, he swapped his life of crime to become an author. He published six books, and starred in a film called Hell To Pay. 

A post on his Facebook account, which includes the video message, reads: “Following examination of Dave's personal effects by Mr Brendan McGirr, a video has been found that was filmed on the 5 July 2023 in his Camelot Castle home in Plumstead. 

READ MORE: How Dave Courtney became south east London’s most famous gangster 

“The video clearly shows Dave had not taken the decision to take his own life lightly, and had gone into thorough planning and preparation to ensure as little pain as possible for his loved ones in the aftermath of his death.” 

News Shopper: Dave Courtney pictured at the Cafe De Paris in 1999Dave Courtney pictured at the Cafe De Paris in 1999 (Image: PA)

Dave goes on to speak in the video, saying: “Well as you can all see I am in sound mind and body. Sorry I’ve took the coward's way out – don’t go wracking your brains and thinking why, I will tell you exactly why. 

“There is no woman trouble or nothing like that – I am hurting, I am disguising a lot of pain. 

“I’ve got rapid ruminal arthritis which is crippling me up. I have to hide the fact that I can’t get up, downstairs and in and out of the car and I’m not enjoying it at the moment. That is really it. 

“I don’t want to waste having a wicked life like I have, absolutely superb, any day I can think back on it was funny and brilliant and the rest of it in pain trying not to end it because it would upset everyone else. 

“I’m not enjoying it and I do what I want so that really is why I am not here today. 

“Don’t be sad, please don’t be sad. 

“I’m sure I left enough people in this world to stick up for Dave.”