Who was Wilko Johnson's wife? 'Game of Thrones' star chose to be as brave as her after she died of cancer
Wilko Johnson married Irene Knight when they were just teenagers and they had two sons
ESSEX, ENGLAND: Wilko Johnson, former Dr Feelgood guitarist and a key figure in the British punk scene, died at 75 on Monday, November 21, in his home. Johnson was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer in 2013.
His official page tweeted the sad news on Wednesday, November 23. The tweet read, "This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family's privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson."
This is the announcement we never wanted to make, & we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family's privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.— Wilko Johnson (@wilkojohnson) November 23, 2022
(Image: Leif Laaksonen) pic.twitter.com/1cRqyi9b9X
Who was Irene Knight?
Johnson married Irene Knight, his childhood sweetheart, when they were teenagers. The couple had two sons sons, Matthew and Simon. Knight succumbed to cancer on August 4, 2004, at The Salisbury Hospice in England.
In a 2014 interview with Clash, Johnson reportedly said, "The first time I wanted to ask [my wife] Irene out, I was walking down the road on Canvey Island. I was going round her house to ask her to come out with me. To keep up my courage I was singing ‘Here Comes The Night’, which was a hit song for Van Morrison and Them at the time."
Johnson had an interview with The Big Issue, during which he spoke about how he first met Knight. "I can still picture her standing there. Then my band played the school leavers' party and I danced with her, and her friend told me I'd been dancing with Irene. That's the first time I heard her name. A few weeks later I got to walk her home and I kissed her outside her gate. It knocked me off my feet. I just went Blammo!"
Johnson also spoke about about the heartbreaking moment he had to bid his wife farewell when she died. "And I remember when she died, I went to see her in the morgue. She was lying on this table. God, Jesus man… She looked like a saint. And I kissed her. And she was cold. I remember that last kiss and the first kiss, and there were 40 years in between," he reportedly said.
"Me and my missus, we were together until she died 10 years ago of cancer and I… well man, I’m in love with her still. I still really miss her," he reportedly added.
Johnson, however, decided to be as brave as his wife. He had reportedly said in January that he had an inoperable pancreatic tumor and that he had declined chemotherapy. He went on to state that he would try to enjoy the time he had left instead and continued touring.