• Germany's news in English

Hamburg offers fans team graveyard plots

AFP · 5 Sep 2008, 07:50

Published: 05 Sep 2008 07:50 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

And like-minded fans of German Bundesliga club Hamburg will soon be able to support their team from beyond the grave.

On September 9, Hamburg will become the first football team in Europe whose fans can be buried in the club's official section of a cemetery within a goal-kick of the stadium in the city's western suburbs. The only other club in the world where fans can be laid to rest in their team's official burial area is at Argentinian giants Boca Juniors.

While fans of British clubs are often allowed to have their ashes scattered at their team's stadium, the laws do not permit that in Germany.

When the area is officially opened, Hamburg fans can be buried close to their beloved team's home stadium in a coffin bearing the club's logo and in the traditional blue-and-white colours. They can also choose to have their ashes buried in an official club urn.

But devotion comes at a price - an official Hamburg coffin costs €2,350 ($3,500), while a blue-and-white urn decorated in silver will cost €390 ($571).

The idea is the brainchild of Lars Rehder, the gardener of the Altona cemetery - a short distance from Hamburg's HSV Area stadium - where the sound of fans cheering their side can clearly be heard on match day. He noticed many Hamburg supporters were asking for plots in the cemetery nearest the stadium.

A funeral director in the north German city also approached the football team to ask for the licence to produce official club coffins. Although the club were initially reluctant, the idea gained momentum and has been over a year in the planning.

In a non-profit making venture, the football team has granted licences to allow four funeral directors in the city to bury Hamburg fans in official club coffins or urns with the money raised being spent on the cemetery's upkeep.

"Many people think it's crazy and a strange idea," Christian Reichert, a member of Hamburg's board, told daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. "But our plan is to capture worldwide attention, not with a gimmick, but with a serious venture."

An area of the Altona cemetery has been prepared complete with concrete goalposts and divided into three parts - stands, terraces and a VIP area. Reichert said the club paid a five-figure sum to renovate the cemetery.

Each grave can be decorated with wreaths shaped like football boots or blue and white-coloured plants, but each plot can only be bought on a long-term contract and must be regularly maintained.

Story continues below…

The cemetery owners expect to cater for up to 500 Hamburg fans. Some have already reserved their place, but you can only buy a plot when the area is officially opened.

Plots in the specially allocated area will cost the same as in the rest of the cemetery.

Reichert said he does not want to sell all the plots to young, healthy fans and wants to keep some back for Hamburg's more elderly fans - either sick or old - who have expressed interest.

"I don't know if they are still alive, but I will contact them personally," added Reichert.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd