Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Die-hard fans

Clubs are always looking for innovative ways to squeeze money out of their fans, even when they are dead.

Plenty of them already sell club-branded coffins for die-hard supporters and German side Hamburg are going one further.

They are building their own club graveyard, near to their stadium and with an entrance designed like a goalmouth and plots arranged in a semi-circle on three levels to resemble a football stand.

"We'll have room for 300 to 500 graves," said Christian Reichert, a member of HSV's managing board, who said that 15 people had already made reservations.

"The oldest is 85 years old, the youngest 27."

81-year-old fan Ernst Schmidt is keen on being buried there, even though he is already supposed to be getting buried next to his wife: "I'm going to enquire whether it's possible," he said.

"I've been an HSV fan for 57 years. My life, it's only football."

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