Renowned hardman Dave Courtney, 64, passed away.
The criminal, who was formerly close to the Kray twins, was sadly discovered dead from what seemed to be a gunshot wound at his south east London residence.
The Sun is aware that the incident occurred on Sunday at around four in the morning.
At approximately 11 a.m., police were called to Courtney’s property, which was christened Camelot Castle.
The terrible finding was made by the officers before Courtney was declared dead a short while later.
Dave’s death was verified by his family on Sunday afternoon.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Dave Courtney at the age of 64,” the statement read.
The death was deemed “unexpected” by the force, who have not yet completed an official identification.
His passing occurred mere hours after Dave posted a number of photos on Saturday night while watching his beloved Charlton Athletic.
The Sun was informed by Courtney’s 68-year-old neighbor Sheila Wellcome that her friend had called her this morning to report that he had been “shot”.
She said: “I saw Dave at around 8pm last night – he seemed in good spirits after going to the Charlton match with his friends.
“I passed him a cigarette over the wall an hour later and he was laughing and joking, then said he was tired and going to go to bed.
“Then I got a call this morning from his friend Brendan, who lives with him, saying Dave has been shot and is dead, and the police also told me he’d died.
“We knew Dave was in a lot of pain. He was suffering with terrible arthritis – he could barely roll a cigarette.
“But he seemed happy. He’d just got his driving licence back and was getting a new Peugeot which he was really excited about.
“I just can’t believe I’m never going to see him again. It’s so sad.”
Retired cash office worker and gran-of-six Sheila said Courtney owned around 12 decommissioned firearms – including handguns, shotguns and rifles which he kept in his front room.
She added: “Police used to come round and check on them occasionally.
“To Dave, they were just ornaments.”
Courtney’s pal Chris Collins, 52, a market trader and dad-of-one, laid flowers at the scene.
He said: “The world is a worse place today having lost Dave.
“He and I go back many years and he is a very good man.
“He had the scariest phone book this side of the moon, let me tell you – but he was an absolute gentleman.
“He didn’t want to miss out on a minute of life. He was frightened of missing out.”
Courtney’s road in Plumstead, south east London, was cordoned off today with a cop manning its entrance.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “Police were called at about 11:25hrs on Sunday, 22 October to a residential address on Chestnut Rise, SE18 following reports of a man found deceased.
“Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended.
“A 64-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His family has been informed.
“Formal identification has not taken place.
“The death is currently being treated as unexpected and is under investigation.
“There have been no arrests.”
Since then, the “British legend”—who went by the moniker Dave Courtney OBE, or One Big Ego—has received an outpouring of support.
“We are saddened to hear of the passing of our longest running supporters of bare knuckle boxing in the UK, Dave Courtney OBE,” stated BKB, the bare knuckle boxing organization that Courtney backed.
“Thank you for all your help over the years and our thoughts and wishes are with Dave’s close friends & family.
“A true BRITISH LEGEND. Love always x BKB & all the TEAM.”
Family member Pat Courtney wrote on Facebook: “RIP Bruv xx.”
Matt Legg posted a series of photos with the caption: “R.I.P Dave Courtney.
“I only spoke to him on Thursday for my Dave Legeno tribute video.
“And we were out together last Friday.
“I still remember meeting Dave 25 years ago, which is the picture with the Knuckle Dusters on.”
His death comes after he was hauled before a judge in July this year for having knuckledusters, daggers and throwing stars in his home.
But Courtney had the charges dropped against him after they were found to be props for a film.
Courtney, a self-described former mobster, left his life of crime to become a well-known author and celebrity.
The cockney said he was the model for Vinnie Jones’s character in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and that he had connections to the Kray brothers.
He pledged that his small heart attack in 2017 wouldn’t be the end of him.
According to the Sunday Mirror, he also claimed to have been shot, stabbed, and had his nose bit off during a life of crime and violence.
Previously, Courtney was in the midst of writing his tenth book and expressed his pride in having made such progress.
“I’m a lucky man,” he declared.
“If I was to die tomorrow I would die smiling. I’ve got beautiful friends. Had far too many beautiful ladies in my life.
“Getting here was hard but now its easy. It’s nice to be nice.”