From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, being scattered at Old Trafford is a must.
I just made that poem up, please forgive me.
But can you scatter ashes at Manchester United? Or any other club for that matter.
I thought I would investigate, as we all know football is a religion to many.
And if you can have your final send-off at a church, can you have it at a footballing church?
Let’s find out.
Can You Scatter Ashes At Manchester United?
Manchester United allows ashes to be scattered pitchside, rather than directly on the pitch. It also makes decisions on a case-by-case basis. Fans who had strong links with the club are more likely to receive approval for their ashes to be scattered. Funeral services and wakes can also be held at the club.
Ashes Can Be Scattered at the Very Edge of the Pitch
Manchester United allows ashes to be scattered at the very edge of the pitch.
Obviously, this has to be arranged with the prior consent of the club!
An example is that of 80-year-old William Moore, a lifelong Manchester United fan, after he died both his and his wife’s ashes were scattered at the side of the pitch.
If you wish to scatter the ashes of a loved one at Manchester United you need to contact the club.
It will not be permitted on every occasion, with the club making a decision on a case-by-case basis.
In the example of William Moore, he lived in the area and had been a regular at Old Trafford for many decades.
Manchester United’s Museum Business Development rep Jason Leach elaborated further:
“In this country, we realize that football fans are very, very passionate indeed, and when you get attached to a club it can become your life,” he said. “We have so many passionate fans. They will spend every penny on Manchester United. They follow them home and away. They buy the shirts, buy the scarves, they bring the kids up to support United.”
“When It comes time to pass away, it’s natural they would do something like [scatter their ashes here].”
So the answer is yes, you can spread ashes at Old Trafford.
Can You Have a Funeral at Old Trafford?
In 2005 Manchester United become the first Premier League ground to offer supporters the chance to hold funeral services at their ground.
The service is conducted at the Stretford End in the club’s International Suite, but the actual burial or cremation must take place outside of Old Trafford.
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Funeral director Rosie Grant explained fans “can also be given a send-off to the tune of Glory, Glory Man United or whatever anthem they choose.”
She added: “Services will take place in the International Suite surrounded by paintings of some of the club’s greatest players. The wake will be in a function room overlooking the pitch.”
Can You Hold a Wake at Old Trafford?
As you have probably realised from the sentence above, Manchester United also hosts wakes.
The structure of the wake is left in the hands of the family. It can be accommodated by hiring a suite, using the Red Cafe or organising a private tour of the stadium.
Can You Spread Ashes on a Football Field?
Essentially you are free to scatter ashes anywhere in the UK as long as you have the permission of the landowner.
So if you are just talking about the local park down the road from you, then you will need to contact whoever owns it, usually the local or parish council.
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If you are referring to a specific stadium, we have picked some popular clubs and listed their stance on the scattering of ashes below:
- Arsenal: Not allowed.
- Aston Villa: Not allowed, but there is a book of remembrance.
- Birmingham City: Allowed. The scattering of ashes is arranged by Co-Op funeral service, and a ceremony can be held on non-match days.
- Blackburn: Allowed. Ashes can be scattered pitchside.
- Bolton Wanderers: Allowed. Ashes can be scattered pitchside, and there is a memorial walkway and a book of remembrance.
- Brighton and Hove Albion: Not allowed. There is a memorial garden.
- Burnley: Not allowed.
- Celtic: Allowed in special cases. You can also purchase a personalised remembrance brick.
- Chelsea: Not allowed. But there is a memorial wall where plaques can be dedicated for free.
- Crystal Palace: Not allowed. However, there is a memorial garden adjacent to Selhurst Park.
- Everton: Not allowed. Ashes can however be buried around the perimeter of the pitch and St Luke’s Church backs onto the stadium and has a remembrance garden.
- Hull City: Allowed. Ashes can be scattered on a non-matchday.
- Leicester City: Not allowed. They do however have a garden of remembrance where ashes can be scattered or a memorial stone can be dedicated.
- Liverpool: Not allowed. There is a memorial garden adjacent to the Main Stand.
- Manchester City: Not allowed. There is a memorial garden inside the stadium however.
- Newcastle United: Not allowed.
- QPR: Allowed. Ashes can be scattered pitchside.
- Rangers: Not allowed. There is a memorial garden next to the stadium.
- Southampton: Not allowed.
- Stoke City: Not allowed.
- Sunderland: Not allowed. However ashes can be buried at the stadium at certain times of the year.
- Tottenham Hotspur: Not allowed.
- West Bromwich Albion: Not allowed. The club does however have a garden of remembrance adjacent to the stadium.
- West Ham: Not allowed. They do have a memorial garden, but it is full.
- Wolverhampton Wanderers: Not allowed. The club does hold an annual memorial service and a book of remembrance.
- Wembley Stadium: Not allowed.
Whilst many clubs do not allow the scattering of ashes on the pitch, there may be some flexibility around scattering them pitchside.
Club rules are changing all the time, so for the latest situation with any club, it is best to contact them directly.
If you are interested in scattering ashes at Old Trafford you will need to contact the club directly by calling 0161 868 8000 or emailing [email protected].
Where Can You Legally Scatter Ashes?
Broadly speaking you are free to scatter ashes anywhere in the UK providing you have the permission of the landowner.
Certain areas are subject to specific environmental guidelines though and if you are burying ashes in an urn, and not scattering them, different rules apply.
Obviously, the legalities around scattering ashes are far from this website’s speciality, so for more information visit the Beyond Life website or read the advice on scattering ashes section of the Co-Op Funeralcare website.
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So Manchester United do allow the scattering of ashes at Old Trafford, but it is decided on a case-by-case basis.
If there is a strong and long link with the club, there is more likelihood the request will be granted.
The ashes must be scattered pitchside, rather than on the pitch.
The club also allows funeral services and wakes to be held at the stadium (along with christenings and weddings as it happens).
So the club really can see you through a number of the most important milestones in your life!