Jan
25
2009
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Hamburger SV

“HSV – Forever and Ever” sing the supporters of top German club Hamburger SV. And now they are
able to demonstrate their loyalty to the club even when they are dead. In September, HSV became the first European football club to open a cemetery especially for fans, just a stone’s throw from the stadium. The, HSV graveyard at Altona cemetery took around a year to complete and was designed to look like a football ground. A concrete goal marks the entrance, the graves are arranged in semi-circles in a manner resembling the tiers of a stand, and the turf comes from the stadium. “If they want, fans can be buried to the sound of a club song in a blue coffin bearing the HSV badge. We guarantee it will then be covered with soil taken from the HSV pitch,” says Christian Reichert, the board member in charge of supporter affairs. A cemetery just for supporters is a genuine rarity, as the only other one of its kind is run by Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Reichert has already received some bizarre enquiries from fans. One 40-year-old HSV member, for example, asked if his friends could place his urn at the spot where he has his season ticket after his death. According to Reichert, however,, this would conflict with German burial law. It is also illegal to spread ashes inside the stadium as is done in the Netherlands, for example, and to bury urns beneath the pitch as at Everton of the English Premier League. Reichert is keen to point out that Hamburg are not pursuing any commercial interests with the cemetery: “The club aren’t going to become undertakers. All the revenues will be reinvested in landscaping and maintaining the site.” Some 300 to 500 HSV supporters will find eternal peace at the graveyard, depending on how many opt for smaller urn burials. Following its inauguration, the cemetery also became open for reservations, and some 20 concrete enquiries have already been made. HSV board member Horst Eberstein, 79, aims to secure a plot, but club legend Uwe Seeler has no such intentions. The 71-year-old takes a rather more sceptical view:” If there are supporters who want that, fair enough, but maybe it’s going a bit too far.”

For more info please visit the website of HSV