By 1993 the very things Ian had tried to avoid in London by moving to the Midlands had returned. On several occasions local police would follow him from pub to pub. Local Marxists tried to get Ian banned from Nottingham’s Rock City gig venue. The Red Lion Pub in Heanor was closed down just as Parliament were asking police to close down and ban owners who allow their premises to be used by “subversive groups.”
Ian was still living with his fiancee Diane for a few years and no wedding or family plans were made yet.
The media image of Ian was very different from the one his close friends knew. Yes he was politically strong and committed but he always had time for friends and fans alike. His generosity and friendliness surprised many people, which stretch in comradeship to fellow White folks all around. In July Skrewdriver recorded what was to be their last album “Hail Victory” and unfortunately Ian never lived to see the album released.
By September 1993, concerns regarding Ian’s outstanding court case were in everyone’s minds as it seemed likely he would get another jail sentence. The Blood & Honour East Midlands Division organised a gig planne for the 25th September and Skrewdriver to also set to play at the largest ever Nationalist festival over in Europe. On the morning of Thursday 23rd September 1993, Benny a friend of Ian received a phone call. It was Ian asking if he was busy that day? Benny said that Ian had better not come round as the police had phoned and were on their way to “discuss” the confiscated beer from the Euro Aryan Fest. He asked about that evening and said he intended to go to a biker pub nearby called The Durham Fox. Benny said he couldn’t, but he’d promise to see Ian the following day. That evening Ian met up with Cat, Dickie, Stephen Flint a Nottingham skinhead also known as Boo, and another called Rob. The five of them took Ian’s car to Burton-upon-Trent where they met up with a few local skins and had a drink at the Royal Oak in market square. After a good night out and plenty of laughs the lads decided to a call it a day just before 11pm, there was a gig planned for the following Saturday and still plenty to organise. Rob hadn’t been drinking so he drove the car towards home as they headed back along the A38 to Heanor. Ian was in the front passenger seat laughing and joking with the lads about the BNP Millwall election victory.
After just overtaking a car near the Toyota factory at Burnaston and moving back into the nearside lane at roughly 55mph suddenly something happened. The cars steering wheel snapped from the drivers grip and the car headed for the central reservation.
Ian grabbed the wheel saying to Rob “Don’t try and kill me, I’ve got a gig on Saturday.” There didn’t appear to any real danger and the comment was said as more of a joke, than out of fear. The next thing they knew the car span out of control across the road onto the grass verge rolling over and finally smashing into a ditch. Cat, with some minor wounds and still dazed from the crash said, “What’s happened here?” The seriousness of the incident was not obvious. Gathering his wits about him, he looked over at his brother Dickie who had got severe neck trauma and said to Rob, who’d just regained consciousness, “He’s in trouble.” He then glanced around at the others. Rob received a broken arm and immediately said “Boo’s dead.” They both looked at Ian and the full extent of what had happened began to dawn on them. “Fuckin’ hell” Cat blurted. Positioned in the middle of the back seat, with Dickie on the right and Boo to his left, Cat had endured the accident more successfully than his friend. The impact had penetrated the left side of the VW Polo where both Ian and Boo had sat. The emergency services soon arrived and Ian had to be cut from the wreckage and was rushed to hospital. Boo was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Ian was rushed to the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham, with severe head injuries. There he failed to regain consciousness and died at 1040am Friday 24th September 1993.
The following day over one hundred Skrewdriver supporters travelled to the Blood & Honour social in the Midlands, not knowing anything about the tragedy. When Stigger informed the crowd of the news several skinheads collapsed in shock.
As soon as the news spread the Donaldson family home back in Blackpool was bombarded with phone calls from old friends of Ian’s. Wanting to know details of the funeral. Arthur Donaldson has just buried his wife 2 years before and now had to face burying his son dead at age 36.
As ever newspapers were relentless. Mr Donaldson told the local paper “I am frightened of answering the phone. The media have been ruthless.” The media was full of stories about the expected clashes between Nazis and left-wingers at Ian’s funeral. Because of this it was decided to hold a small family funeral. “Ian had his beliefs and he attracted enemies as well as friends. Police vetoed his gigs and now that Ian is dead people are drumming it all up again.” Mr Donaldson was determined to avoid the whole thing turned into a political circus. “This should be a quiet funeral with his family and no the scene of a demonstration.” Out of total respect everyone listened and obeyed Ian’s fathers’ wishes. The hard choice had to be made to cremate Ian’s remains to stop the Reds from later desecrating his body and/or grave.
There were about 20 people present on the 5th October at the Carleton Crematorium to witness the peaceful ceremony. Among those present were Cat, Ian’s fiancee Diane, his brother Tony and his life long friend, and original Skrewdriver drummer, Grinny. Bon Jovis’ song ‘Blaze of Glory’ was played and even Lemmy of Motorhead sent flowers.
Ian’s ashes were scattered where once his mother’s were cast and in the sanctuary of the rose garden. Comrades and supporters far and wide made the pilgrimage to Ian’s final resting place in the days and weeks after the cremation and gave homage to their fallen hero. Many did not know which was his plot number in the crematorium and soon a mass of Celtic cross garlands, English roses and red, white and black wreaths engulfed the entrance of the graveyard.
An independent investigator was refused access to the car wreckage, but at the inquest Derby coroner Peter Ashworth concluded: ‘We are still no nearer finding out what caused this tragic accident. All we can say is that because of the car’s two defects the car became less easy to control. But there must have been some other factor which contributed to the crash, even if Ian had not grabbed the wheel in a way many others in the same situation would have done.’ The two defects mentioned were a nail in one of the rear tyres causing a slow air leak and the front shock absorber was leaking.
The suggestion is that Ian’s car had been tampered with. Was it impossible to think that Ian was murdered? His car had previously been tampered with, his death was almost identical to those of Violent Storm, the threat he had become was serious, the police and press cover up, he was about to play the biggest ever festival in Europe, the British establishment are international known as experts in using car crashes in assassinations, recently in the case of Princess Diana. Just as Ian Stuart prophesied in 1991, “You’ll have to kill me to stop me.”