Oliver Reed's last drink in Malta

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Over the weekend I had promised to take my wife shopping in Valletta. After a couple of hours within all the hustle and bustle, and a lot of indecisiveness from my other half I convinced her to take a break and grab a quick drink and rest our legs. We were drawn to a small establishment called "The Pub" located by the parliament building in Republic Street.

"The Pub" has been run by the Cremona family for over two decades and is infamous for being the spot in which the famous actor Oliver Reed died in 1999, aged 61, after a heavy drinking session during the making of his last film Gladiator.

On his last night, Oliver Reed downed over eight pints of lager, twelve double rums and half a bottle of whiskey, won an arm-wrestling content against many members of the British Royal Navy crew, HMS Cumberland, and insisted on paying for the entire round.

Heavily intoxicated he collapsed and before an ambulance could get to him he had passed away. From that day, “The Pub” has been an unofficial shrine for Reed and is a place where fans, film buffs and curious drinkers can converge to pay their respects. Oliver Reed was an incredible actor starring in such films as Women in Love, The Three Musketeers, Oliver! and Castaway. He was a troubled character who fought a long running battle with alcoholism. He was however also immensely lovable characters known as one of the last, great Hollywood hell-raisers.

Toasts for the great man ring out most evenings and you can imagine him sitting there with that cheeky grin on his face, raising his glass to acknowledge all the tributes.

In honour of Reed, The Pub subtitled itself “Ollie’s Last Pub” and now produces Oliver Reed mementos for admirers including candles, mugs, plates, T-shirts and bookmarks that display a picture of Reed and the legend of “Ollie’s Last Pub”.

Author: Adam Claffey