Mark “Chopper” Read loses battle with cancer.

Chopper Read, famed stand over man, Author, Orator and Musician has died of liver failure after being diagnosed with cancer.

Chopper came to rise in the early eighties as Melbourne’s most feared bush-whacker and killer for hire. He spent time in Pentridge where he led the Overcoat Gang against the Painters and Dockers in the infamous H-division wars. A war that was said to have started over accusations of stealing sausages from a barbecue.

In a later interview he clarified that the war really started over a schism in the Painters and Dockers, he simply sided over one side and not the other, he also stated why he was so good at prison warfare, ” Perseverance, they wanted to go home, I wanted to stay, they wanted the war to end, I didn’t, I wanted it to go on forever”.

Between the ages of 20 and 38 Read spent only 13 months as a free man. In prison he turned to writing, becoming one of Australia’s most well-read story tellers, selling over 500,00 copies with the release of a string of books based around his years as a criminal.

After his diagnosis, he was offered the chance of a liver transplant but turned it down saying,

‘’ There’s someone out there who deserves it”.

Read was 58 when he died.


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