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scattering ashes saints rugby

Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club policy on Scattering Ashes at Franklin’s Gardens

Not good news from the Saints :

This is what Northampton Rugby Football Club said:

We do not allow scattering or burial of ashes in the [Franklin’s Gardens] stadium as it has the potential to cause too many problems in the future. As yet we do not have a memorial garden although this is something we may look at in the future.

Whilst it is bad news, this is a far more sensible response rather than hiding behind mythical health and safety, it is true if the club was to expand or move it would present additional issues.

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gloucester scattering ashes

Gloucester Rugby Football Club’s policy on scattering ashes at the Kingsholm Stadium

Gloucester Rugby Football Club’s policy on scattering ashes at the Kingsholm Stadium.

Glouster is very much a rugby town. At the time of writing they strong track record in the Aviva Premiership and I think the fact that the town focuses so much on it that theirs is a stance different to the other clubs surveyed so far.

This was their response:

As we dig the pitch up every year we do not permit ashes to be scattered on the pitch as they are then removed at the end of the season.

We do allow ashes to be spread behind the West Stand on the Tump area, which is iconic as it has been here since we took over the ground in 1873.

As long as we have notice we can arrange for any of these to happen

Well done to the Cherry and Whites….umm not the most imaginative nick name it has to be said, but then you can’t have everything.

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Ashes Policy at Reading Football Club

We asked Reading Football Club to let us know what their policy was on the scattering at Madejski Stadium in Reading

This is what they said:

We are unable to have ashes scattered on the pitch at the Madejski Stadium.

We do however have a garden of remembrance at the stadium where supporters are more than welcome to use at any time, details of which can be found on our website here.

Understandable and nice that they have seen fit to have a garden of remembrance instead.

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scattering ashe

Scattering ashes at Bournemouth Football Club’s Vitality Stadium

Bournemouth has been one of the football league’s success stories, qualifying and managing to stay in the premiership in the face of very stiff competition. So we thought we better find out whether they permit the scattering or bury of ashes at the Vitality stadium.

Bad news I am afraid this is what they say:

We used to be able to provide this service to our supporters with a short commemoration service provided by our Chaplain bur this is now no longer possible.  Nor do we have a memorial garden.

With kind regards

General Manager
AFC Bournemouth

Vitality Stadium

A shame and it goes on the reinforce the north south divide in permitting fans to memorialise at their club.  I had half expected them to say yes as small clubs tend to be more fan-centric but there you go.

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scattering ashes

Scattering or interring ashes at Brighton and Hove Football club’ American Express Community Stadium

As part of our quest to find the which football clubs and sports grounds allow you are scatter or bury ashes at we have asked the new promoted Brighton and Hove Albion.

However it is not good news, this is what they say:

“Good Afternoon,

Thank you for taking the time to contact Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club. I have looked into your enquiry this afternoon and I can confirm that we are no longer able to intern ashes. At the time of the stadium opening we had a limited number of plots within our memorial garden but all the plots have now been taken. We are also unable to scatter any ashes within the stadium.

We do no offers supporters the chance to purchase a memorial tile which is placed upon the wall of our memorial garden. These can be purchased for £99 including VAT*.

If there is anything else we can assist you with in the meantime then please don’t hesitate to contact us again.

Kind Regards

Supporter Services

Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club”

*Depending on how long after publishing you are reading this please note that the price of the plaque is likely to change, so don’t quote on that as they say.


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ashes loo

How to honour a friend: flush him down the loo

Okay, so that might not be the first thing you think when considering the options for the ashes of a lifelong friend. However, that is what Thomas McDonald decided to do to honour his friend.

Any old toilets, you might be thinking? No, specifically those of baseball grounds in the US. Why? Well, firstly Mr McDonald and his pal were huge baseball fans and long-time supporters of the New York Mets (the baseball team based in the district of Queens in New York City). But why the toilet?! The second reason is that his friend was a master plumber and it seemed appropriate.

He had known his friend Roy Riegel since they were eight and had grown up together near the Shea Stadium.

To date Mr McDonald, has dropped some of the ashes of his friend in 16 Major League Baseball parks. He told the New York Daily News he had just one more visit to make before his pilgrimage was complete.

“I’ve been doing this for seven or eight years,” said McDonald, “We grew up since I was in the Cub Scouts when I was a little kid, known him since I was about 8. Was as big a Mets fan as I know.”

McDonald, began his odyssey by taking ashes and discreetly scattering a token amount of the ashes on trips to stadia around the States. Then one night in an Irish bar, he came up  this idea (one wonders how many great ideas have originated in Irish bars around the world!).

“I went to the bathroom and I was like, I know what to do, because he was … the best plumber you ever saw,”, “He was a master.”

So far, McDonald has scattered ashes in: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Detroit and Baltimore, among others. He has even flushed Mr Riegel’s ashes in the toilet of his hotel room inside the Rogers Center in Toronto. But he does this all under a strict code: (1) the game must be in progress and (2) the ashes are always from a small bottle wrapped in old Mets ticket stubs.

He has even taken some back to Ireland to scatter at the Cliffs of Moher – a favourite destination of the deceased.

So now he has one final journey Durham Athletic Park in North Carolina, where the movie “Bull Durham” was filmed. “They give tours of the old park that they were still using when they filmed the movie in the 1980s still there, (so I’m) going to try and do that one there,” he said.

Whilst some may balk at this act, I like it, he is truly memorialising a friend. He has put thought, energy, care and commitment into his farewell and for that I salute him. The one small issue that in an old life I worked waste water world (sewage undertakers) and they didn’t half get on their high horse about things going down the loo that weren’t supposed to be there…

Original Story –



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ashes ganges

Aussie Cricketer in a wonderful act of charity

I can’t say I haven’t always been that charitable towards the Australian cricket team, today I have been humbled by Steve Waugh the ex-captain of Australia for his wonderful act of kindness.

Mr Waugh is often going to and from India from his wider charity work this time he had a special reason to visit. On this occasion he went to the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi to scatter the ashes of a friend: a Sydney based shoe-shiner. The man didn’t have a family and always wanted his ashes to be scattered in the holy river.

“It was a lifetime opportunity for me and I really wanted to visit that city. It has a very spiritual feeling. To have the honour and privilege of scattering the remains of Brian (Rudd), I feel great about it. He had a very tough life and didn’t have a family. His last wish was to have ashes scattered in the Ganges. I am very glad to have done something for him and it was a celebration of his life,” said Waugh.

How nice is that! Right from now on I promise to ‘try’ and be less opinionated about this gallant troupe of fellows…

The original report was in  India Today


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golf club scattering ashes

Golf clubs of Britain – this is how you should do it..

Dear Golf Clubs please take note from the Cabramatta Golf Club in New South Wales, Australia. When loyal member Graham Curtis passed away last year his family sought to carry out his last wishes. As was keen golfer and a long-time member of the Cabramatta Golf Club “He asked to have his ashes scattered there and I didn’t know if it was something we could do,” Mrs Curtis said.

“We had to wait for permission from the board. We didn’t think they would do it, but they planned it all out for us.

“They were just wonderful,” Mrs Curtis said. “They formed a guard of honour at his funeral and the day we spread the ashes, they provided 10 golf carts for us and took us down to the 14th hole.”

“He played golf every Saturday, no matter what,” Mrs Curtis said. “He never missed his golf game.

Mrs Curtis was surprised and chuffed to bits with the reaction of the club

“It was just unbelievable to have all the members from his 35 years came out to pay their respects.”

The club has even put up a small plaque in Mr Curtis’s honour at the 14th hole.

This heart-warming story is particularly pertinent to me. I scattered the ashes of my father on a golf course in England and the club’s reaction could not have been more different. Rudeness, indifference and insensitivity – please believe me I have many more words to describe the club but I think that about sums it up. All of that snobbish behaviour that one previously associated with golf clubs was there in bucket loads (whilst I am not a golfer I am told they are a bit nicer these days). So, golf clubs if you can hear me – take heed! Respect thy fallen members…


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ashes policy

Trent Bridge cricket ground’s ash scattering policy

Good news! Nottingham county cricket ground allows ashes to be scattered at Trent Bridge.

Of course, they have to work around the cricket season when matches are being played at the ground, and also what functions are being held here during the year.  Sunday, particularly, is a popular day to choose as, generally, there are no events on the ground, out of season.  Saturday, too, is a good day, although there are more likely to be weddings or lunches here, but we can work around those so that scattering doesn’t take place whilst people are celebrating with friends and family.

There is no charge for this request.



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boston scattering ashes

Sports fan deifies ban to scatter on third base

Sports fans can have an extremely strong bond with their club and judging by the amount of requests and queries we get, they can often wish to have their ashes scattered at the hallow turf.

This story from the US is interesting as not only does it concern someone breaking the rules, but their keenness to record and publicise the fact too.

Mr Dave Johnson who passed away last December was dyed in the wool Boston Red Sox fan, his family thought it would be fitting to have his ashes scattered at the home ground – Fenway Park. So they approached the club and the club said no – because of the number of requests “We are touched that people have such a powerful connection with Fenway Park and request this be their final resting place, however the sheer volume made it difficult to continue this practice,” the Red Sox spokesman told WBZ-TV.

However, his daughter Megan was not be deterred and she went and did it any. Not the whole amount, just a token scattering through the netting near third base.

Megan then posted a video on her Twitter page showing the moment her family spread her father’s ashes. “Celebrating my day in the most appropriate way. By scattering his ashes at Fenway Park,” she tweeted.

And one family member replied “You are immortalized at Fenway Park for the rest of your life,”

Megan says her late father, who was a mental health counsellor, was a “rule breaker” and would have loved the Fenway sentiment.

So is this good? Out of order? Stylishly rebellious? Well depends whose view you take, as a one off family statement you may say fair play nicely done. The club are probably thinking – oh my goodness if this starts a trend

Personally I don’t think it wasn’t too bad, it was a token scattering and hopefully won’t give the club to big a headache.

I do find it interesting that rather than do the act in clandestine way and sneaking off, it was loud and proud. This was clearly an act of celebration and as such I find it heart warming.

Original story:

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turf moor livsey ashes

Burnley FC says no to Radio 5 presenter


Burnley FC has number of famous supports perhaps the the most famous is Prince Charles (I was a little surprised to read this too) anyway among the faithful is Radio 5 Presenter Tony Livesey.

In a discussion about the Brazilian club Corinthians offering burial plots for their fans Mr Livsey, proclaimed that he was going to have his ashes scattered at the Turf Moor stadium.

Burnley were not to chuffed by the prospect,  a spokesman said: “Tony is one of our biggest and keenest fans and we love him here and hopefully he will have a very long and happy life.

“But we, like most clubs, have strict rules on allowing ashes on the pitch as they are human remains and players are sliding and touching the grass all the time.

“We would suggest Tony’s friends don’t try to test our security as they won’t get too far!”

Why we ask? ‘Health and Safety they cried’, well what is it exactly are they are concerned about? Well the Mirror reckons –

Some clubs claim it is a health and safety rule, due to the fear of open wounds from players’ injuries making contact with the dead remains.

Others fear chemical reactions from the strong fertilisers they feed their grass to keep them lush and green.

However Tony has a cunning plan that will thwart the beady eyed security (not just the fact that Mr Livesy is in rude health and is unlikely to pass for some time and so they may forget), no, he is intending to get his friends to scatter him in the manner of the classic Second Word War film – The Great Escape – where the POWs hid soil from the tunnel they were digging in specially made holders that they used to scatter discretely as they walked along.

Well it is a cunning plan, but hopefully one we wont need to wonder whether it worked for many years to come.

Original story:


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Queens Park Rangers a prince among clubs


The details of ashes scatterings and memorial services at Loftus Road are:

We would be delighted to carry out your wish for the ashes of your loved one to be scattered at QPR.  The procedure starts when you contact the club chaplain, Rev’d Cameron Collington (details below).  He will arrange a time with the club for you, and up to 20 others, to come to Loftus Road for a special ceremony of remembrance.  It may happen any weekday between 9.30am – 4.30pm, subject to the availability of the stadium.

When the day arrives, you bring about a coffee-jar’s worth of the ashes to Reception on South Africa Road where you will be welcomed by the chaplain.  You will be taken to the players’ dressing room where you can look around and take photographs.  You will be led down the tunnel and taken pitchside (walking on the pitch itself is not permitted).

The chaplain will lead you round to the goalposts at the Loftus Road end, where he will get you to lay the ashes on a small tray in the vicinity of the goal line, which he will have prepared.  Over the next few minutes, he will encourage you and any others to recall together one or two stories and memories, perhaps linked to of your loved one’s keenness for QPR.  This is followed by a couple of short prayers, ending with a moment’s quiet.

You then return to the tunnel, stopping for photographs in the dugout, then through to Reception where the chaplain will say goodbye.  Once you have left, the chaplain will gather the open tray of ashes and look after them until the pitch is dug up and re-seeded at the end of the season – in late May.  They are scattered carefully and respectfully, together with other ashes which have been looked after during the season.

Again, please note that we can only accept about a coffee-jar’s worth of the ashes.

There is no charge made by the club or chaplain for this service, and it’s also worth knowing that regrettably the club has no parking to offer.

The chaplain’s details are:

Cameron Collington.

Vicar, St Simon’s Church

Well done QPR, there are precious few London clubs that have  such a thoughtful and considered approach, so this is great to see.

Please note this was accurate at the time on publication (November 2014) but things do change so it is worth double checking first before you confirm your plans.

Look – here is something on French Telly! My Dad’s ashes at QPR



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baseball AstroTurf scattering ashes

Ashes scattered over AstroTurf: Blue Jays fan memorialised

baseball AstroTurf scattering ashes

The Rogers Stadium in Toronto, home to the baseball tem the Blue Jays, was the target of an ill-fated ash scattering.

During a game between the Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers a fan entered the entire contents of an entire urn near the Jay’s dugout. The grounds people not being sure what it was called the hazardous materials team to clear it up. The fire chief considered them t be human ashes: they were not tested and the man after being spoken to by security was not ejected.

Now you might think well done to the plucky fan who fulfills his loved ones wishes, an audacious act that could have landed him in trouble. I have a slightly more pragmatic take on this, apart from this act being rather selfish – as he had no idea what distress it may cause to others, it was rather ill conceived. Most people consider the act of scattering is to give someone a resting place those scattering a place to memorialise – permanently associating someone with a place through an act of integration. The problem here is the Blues Jays play on AstroTurf that is on a bed of concrete The net results is the loved was hoovered up in a short order, presumably now residing in a landfill in the Toronto area somewhere.

Now it maybe that the temporary state of affairs was all the loved one/ fan wanted, although that seems less probable. So the moral of the story is before heroic acts of loyalty consider the end result. And if, as in this case, the final outcome is undesired then think about how else your loved one could be associated with the location: in this case a token scattering and a plaque maybe?

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cremation ashes Leicester city

Leicester City FC -scattering ashes at King Power Stadium

cremation ashes Leicester city

Leicester City (aka the Foxes) the powerhouse of East Midlands football secondly only to the might Cobblers in this part of the world a have a garden of remembrance for their fans. I am pleased to say that they offer a couple of options, a plaque and / or scattering.

You can choose to have plaque which has a personal inscription made from blue acrylic this is then affixed to their memorial stone.

Scatterings of ashes in the clubs garden of remembrance needs to be booked in advance, at least 48 hours before the desired date. Although they can be carried out in any time, including weekends as long as it does not clash with a match day. They can be administered by either a Funeral Director or our Club Chaplain if he is available.  All scatterings need to take place in the centre circle of pebbles in either of the gardens.

To contact the club follow this link and ask to be through to the Chaplain or Grounds Maintenance

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cremation ashes policy hull

Come on the Tigers: Hull City FCs policy on scattering ashes at the KC Stadium

cremation ashes policy hull

Hull City FC, known affectionately as the the Tigers, a have good positive policy on scattering of ashes at the club. They allow ashes to be scattered at the KC stadium. They informed us of the following:

The ashes are normally scattered on a weekday as long as they don’t have any matches that day. 

Please liaise with Dave Gregory on he will be able to help you [note things change, so if you come to contact Mr Gregory and he has changed jobs here is the club’s central email address –]

 Ordinarily they would require the following information:

  • Preferred date – if you could give two or three dates that would be ideal
  • Whether the deceased was a Hull City or Hull FC supporter
  • How many people are attending

The ashes scatterings take place between 2pm – 3pm.

So whether football or rugby – you are well looked after.


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scattering ashes on football pitches

The Football Association’s guidance on scattering ashes


scattering ashes on football pitches (c)

Humble apologies if you clicked on the title expecting a policy position statement. Sorry to  disappoint but the truth is the Football Association does not have one, at least that is what they told me when I asked.

The very helpful lady at the FA said: ” We have looked into this for you and had a look at the FA handbook and this is not covered. We believe there isn’t FA guidance on this and it would be down to the individual clubs. For grassroots clubs, you might want to contact the relevant local County FA, and for professional clubs you would need to contact the clubs themselves directly.”

The main reason for posting this is because a lot of  clubs (including the one in this specific article) are saying it is the FA that stops them from allowing scattering ceremonies.

It would seem that some clubs are hiding behind a mythical guidance document banning scattering of ashes on football pitches on the grounds of Health and Safety, good old health and safety no wonder it gets such a bad reputation, it is so often used by organisations to hide behind when it something that they don’t wish to do – well ‘fess up I say and if you don’t wish to do it say so!

Might be nice if they gave the real reason or perhaps offered an alternative site for memorialisation, but that could be just me being picky.

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ashes bristol city

Bristol City Football Club Policy

ashes bristol city

Bristol City do allow ashes to be interred at the ground, they don’t allow them to be scattered. 

The response from Bristol City is interesting a spokesman said: “As has been the case for many years, Football League guidelines state clubs are not allowed to have ashes scattered on the pitch due to health and safety.

“As a club, we can arrange – in agreement with the ground staff – to bury ashes beneath the ground and we have done that for our supporters in the past.”

Football league guidelines on how to deal with cremated remains…a matter of health and safety… I was not aware of such, I shall delve, investigate and once uncovered, report back.




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england australia ashes trophy cricket

The Orgins of the Ashes cricket contest – a protest for cremation

As one of the world greatest sporting contest draws to a close and England retain the precious little trophy, spare a thought for where this tiddler came from and what was the symbolism.

The story starts in 1882, at the Oval cricket ground in London, when England cricketers managed to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory and the following day in the press was an obituary of English cricket penned by a Mr Reginald Brooks appeared in the Sporting Times and said ‘[that] the body would be cremated and the ashes sent to Australia.’

Then the following year England vowed to bring those ‘ashes’ back again. England won the competition and the captain was presented with this  tongue-in-cheek  trophy …and so began the legendary series.

But the reference to cremation was not as abstract as it may seem, at the time cremation was not practised in the UK, it was illegal. However there was a growing and powerful movement behind it one of those involved was was none less than the surgeon Sir Henry Thompson who happened to be Queen Victoria’s own physician. And he published a paper on the subject arguing that cremation was a sensible way forward due to hygiene, land space and it could make a good fertiliser!

Now the chap who wrote those ‘immortal’ words was the son of one of those original cremation campaign, the father a Mr Shirley Brooks (editor of the satirical and influential Punch publication) and founding member of the Cremation Society of England.

Sadly Mr Brooks (Snr) passed before his campaign had reached fruition. But campaign did not diminish and continued to grow in strength. Then in 1882 in the news at the time of the Australian cricket team visit was  a story running in the press the story of a Captain Hanham who had  requested the Society’s help in cremating two members of his family, the Home Secretary refused to give consent, prompting Brooks Jnr to pick up his pen…

And so there we have it how Reginald Brooks unwittingly entered the history books, not through and random or abstract comment but through a promotion of a cause, dear to his fathers heart and which did actually come to pass some 28 years after the society’s beginning

I found the original lead for this story here:

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anglers ashes

The forever fisherman: an anglers choice

People who have a passion for a sport often choose to have their association enshrined with their ashes. So whilst the request Mr Peter Hodges, an angler from Somerset final wish may seem strange to many, to others it has perfect resonance.

When Mr Hodge, at the age of 60, discovered that had motor neurone disease he decided that as a final request he would have his ashes mixed into his secret ground-bait recipe and flung to the fishes.

Mr Hodge had been a keen angler since the age of 20 and his favourite spot was on the River Huntspill, near Bridgewater in Somerset where he could usually be found with his rod and line.

After he was cremated his ashes were mingled with 30lbs of fish food and his wife and daughter were the first to catapult them into river to signal the start of a fishing competition for Hodges’s friends.

Mrs Hodge, 56, said: “Pete always said that when he died he wanted his ashes to be mixed in with ground-bait.

“He wanted the fish to gobble him up so he could swim up and down the river after his death.

“Everything that he wished for was done right down to the last. It was only right for us to carry out his final wishes.”

Before he died Mr Hodge said: “It may sound strange but it is my dream; to be back in the river catching fish is where I belong. I hope my friends make me proud with their catches.”



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A fairway farewell? The golfer’s dilemma


Are you a golfer or was your loved one a golfer? Are you thinking of scattering your/their ashes on a golf course? If the answer is yes to these questions then read on.

I found an excellent article by a chap named Mark Donavan who has considered the angle very thoroughly from a golfer’s point of view. I have copied out the article in full and provided a link at the bottom to the original.

It is funny to hear an opinion from a golfers perspective, Scattering Ashes website was born out of my experience of scattering my fathers ashes at his golf course in Northamptonshire, England. We chose the fairway of the 11th hole, he suffered badly with angina he had to call it a day on the 11th and sadly, although he didn’t know it, it was to be his last round. It was his joy and passion, we even had to wait until he had got his round in before we went on holiday!

It would appear there are many deliberations for the golfing fraternity:

  • Home course or distant mecca?
  • Fairway or green?
  •  Favourite view or beautiful spot?
  • Greatest triumph or the hole that could never be mastered?

The one thing that seems to ring true with most golfers was ‘not around a tree’ as this seems to where most tend to take a leak!

One thought from me is that perhaps some consideration should given to where the ashes of the spouse will be spread, doesn’t seem all that fair if they want to be with you when they pass, they hated the blessed sport and have to spend eternity occupying the dog-leg of a par 4. Perhaps consider the authors suggestion at the end.

Anyway enough of me, enjoy! I did …

I have the spot all picked out. At Royal Dornoch there is a path that leads uphill from the sixth green to the seventh tee, and at the top is one of the most sublime vistas in all of golf. The glorious links are displayed at our feet; we can see no fewer than nine flags snapping in the breeze. The Sutherland hills are crouched behind us, Dornoch Firth sparkles invitingly just beyond the broad expanse of beach, and the red and white bands of Tarbat Ness lighthouse are clearly visible in the distance. If it happens to be springtime, the gorse-covered hill we are standing on is a blaze of vibrant yellow. Yep, that’s the spot—that’s where I want my ashes spread once I have gone to the great scorer’s tent in the sky.

From Asheville, North Carolina, to Ashtabula, Ohio, under cover of darkness or in the broad light of day, countless golfers who have posted their final score have had their ashes strewn on their favorite links. It’s impossible to determine exactly how many have turned Olympia Fields, say, into Elysian Fields, but my conservative estimate is hundreds, if not thousands, a year.

Legendary architect Alister MacKenzie (Augusta, Cypress Point) may have initiated the practice when he died in 1934 and reportedly had his ashes spread on his favorite par-four hole, the sixteenth at Pasatiempo in California. John A. Mulcahy, the Irish-American industrialist who rescued Ireland’s splendid Waterville links from insolvency in the 1960s, recognized the importance of being urn-ish. His ashes are buried on the tee of Waterville’s seventeenth hole, which is now known as Mulcahy’s Peak. Putting guru George Low Jr., who died in 1995, had it both ways: Some of his ashes are buried next to a practice green at Cog Hill outside Chicago, and some were strewn over a lake on the nearby eighteenth hole of Cog Hill No. 4 (Dubsdread).

Bury Me in a Pot Bunker is the title of a Pete Dye book, and the author means for that directive to be taken literally. He’s not particular—”any ole pot bunker or ditch is fine with me,” says the eighty-one-year-old architect. Arnold Palmer, who grew up playing at Latrobe Country Club, writes in A Golfer’s Life that he would like to have his ashes spread “out there somewhere near my Pap’s on one of the club’s fairways.” Lee Trevino’s instructions are typical of the Merry Mex. “My ashes will be spread on some golf course,” he has said. “I don’t care which one. I’ve told my wife to make sure you reach in there, and if you don’t find two steel rollers and a metal plate, those aren’t my ashes.”

Caddies have their favorite golfing haunts as well. Before the 2003 Players Championship, Brad “The Russian” Krosnoff, a longtime PGA Tour caddie, had his ashes strewn over the water surrounding the seventeenth green at Sawgrass. A few years back, the ashes of a pair of PebbleBeach loopers known as Dawg and the Phantom were sprinkled off the eighteenth green in a joint ceremony one misty morning.

One has so many touchstones, so many meaningful experiences over the span of a lifetime, why choose a golf course as a final resting place? Armchair psychologists have a ready answer for that one. Golf, they say, is a religion, and golf courses are places of worship, so it’s logical for the devout to choose a site that is sacred to them. “I haven’t told my wife yet,” says a nine-handicapper from Long Island who wants his ashes strewn on the ninth fairway of his home course, “but perhaps I should, so she’ll get a sense of how important golf is to me.”

Laws vary from state to state, but as a rule permission to spread ashes is required from the property owner—whether it’s public or private land. Some clubs allow it and some do not, but among those where it is forbidden, the policy seems to be “Don’t ash, don’t tell.” “Our official position,” says the manager of a major-championship venue, “is that it’s not permitted. Unofficially, we know it happens from time to time.”

PineValley has no official policy on the spreading of ashes. Uncertain what response he would receive if he made a formal request, one member decided to proceed on the q.t. when his father died a few years back. The site of the covert operation was the fourteenth hole, a dramatic 185-yard par three. “My dad used to put his arm around me on that tee,” recalls the member, “and say, ‘If I could choose one hole in the world to have a hole in one, this would be it.'” Dad never made that ace, but after he passed away, his son orchestrated the next best thing.

Dad’s ashes were smuggled onto the course in four baggies tucked inside a Titleist box. When the foursome reached the fourteenth green, each player took a baggie and walked to one of the four corners of the putting surface. From those points they moved toward the hole, pouring the ashes in a line as they walked, sprinkling the last of them in the cup. “The next few times I played the hole,” says the son, “I could do no wrong. I could feel my father’s presence.”

Riverside Golf and Country Club in Portland, Oregon, has a more open approach than PineValley does. When fifty-six-year-old Ron “Brogie” Brogan died suddenly in 2004, his memorial service at the club was attended by some two hundred fellow members and golf buddies. At the conclusion of the service, the master of ceremonies announced that Brogie wanted his ashes dispersed at Riverside, with one important caveat: “Under no circumstances will you spread me under any tree.” The men in the room, all of whom had no doubt watered a tree or two at Riverside, roared with laughter.

With his golf bag strapped on the back and his ashes jouncing on the passenger seat, Brogie’s cart was driven out to the 150-yard marker on the eighteenth hole. The pro made some appropriate remarks, dipped a small cup into the urn and cast the ashes to the wind. Others weren’t so respectful. One attendee dug a hole in a nearby bunker, poured some ashes in and then covered them up with sand—an unplayable lie for all eternity. Another guest filled divots with the ashes, which had an unexpected side effect. The next morning, the sprinklers on eighteen were turned on as usual. When the water came into contact with the ashes, the divots were calcified, and soon golf balls were bouncing off Brogie every which way. Sounds like he got the last laugh after all.

Members at other clubs often detect a more benign attitude from their departed brethren spread around the links. “Many of us who play in the early morning or late in the day feel the presence of our old friends in the shadows,” says an officer of a private club on Chicago’s NorthShore. “Some of us swear that a ball we hit is going to end up in the trees or on the beach, but when we get there, the ball is sitting up in the fairway or even on the green.”

Golfers face a number of decisions when choosing a permanent residence: home course or distant mecca, fairway or green, a favorite view or the site of a hole in one? Scott Masingill, a trucking company executive and sometime Champions Tour player, has left instructions for his ashes to be spread about 285 yards from the tee in the sixth fairway at Scotch Pines, his home course in Idaho. The particular area in Masingill’s fairway to heaven is known, appropriately enough, as “the crematorium,” because “if you hit your drive there,” says Masingill, “it’s creamy.”

The aptly named James Ashwanden, a fifty-six-year-old golfer from Kent, England, has a couple of candidates in mind, but his home course is not among them. Right now he’s leaning toward St. Enodoc, a hilly marvel in Cornwall that is home to the famed Himalaya bunker. Ashy, as he was called in prep school, is undecided about precisely where he would like to spend day after day (after day). “Do I go for a place where I’ve experienced the greatest satisfaction?” wonders the sixteen-handicapper. “Or should I choose a hole that I’ve never truly conquered?” Wherever he ends up, Ashy has already scripted the words he wishes spoken as his remains are released into the wind: “‘May they fly more accurately than his approach shots; may they land gently on the green.’ God,” he pauses, envisioning the scene, “I really want to be there.”

As for me, I’m all set. Or am I? I hear the siren song of another course crying out for consideration: Taconic Golf Club. The place where I learned to love the game. Home to so many of my indelible golfing memories. Dating back to my college days, I have made regular pilgrimages to this picturesque gem in north western Massachusetts. My thoughts turn to the third tee. The hole is a beautiful 409-yard par four, with a stand of birch trees and a winding stream on the right, a stretch of pines running down the left side of the fairway. The green is framed, in the distance, by a pair of majestic mountains. A perfect drive splits the V that they form. It’s a view I could look at . . . forever.

So, what’s it going to be: Dornoch or Taconic?A veritable Sophie’s Choice for the hereafter. There’s only one solution.

Memo to loved ones: Divide and conquer.

By Mark Donovan

scattering ashes on a golf course

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cremation urns

Scattering Ashes – Arsenal FC

Here is what the Gunners have to say on the matter of scattering cremation ashes at the Emirates Stadium…

Ashes are not interred or scattered at Emirates stadium. Also, there is no memorial plaque within the Stadium for individual memorials. The board arrived at this decision after much consultation and had investigated many different avenues.

However if you visit the Arsenal website; this gives you and opportunity to personalise a granite stone in memory of your [loved one] which will be placed outside the Armoury in the near future.

This information was correct at the time of publication, organisations can change their position so for the most accurate information please contact the origination in question directly.

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