Fans will rest in peace after their final whistle

The site of the memorial garden which is being constructed at the entrance to the Keepmoat Stadium.
The site of the memorial garden which is being constructed at the entrance to the Keepmoat Stadium.
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WITH the Keepmoat Stadium towering in the background, it may not always be tranquil.

But this site next to Doncaster’s main sports arena is set to become the final resting place for thousands of people’s ashes.

Just days after Doncaster Rovers kicked off their first home game of the season, work began on a memorial garden which is planned to give lifelong Doncaster Rovers and Dons fans the opportunity to have their ashes scattered as near as they can to Keepmoat Stadium.

At the moment, it is a fenced off garden with a flagpole flying a Rovers flag.

But the Keepmoat Memorial Garden, which is being built at the entrance to the ground by community regeneration specialist Keepmoat, will provide a peaceful retreat to allow friends and family to remember their loved ones, according to the people behind the project.

Mourners will be able to scatter their relatives’ ashes on a grassed area of the garden using a special urn surrounded by flowerbeds.

There will also be an opportunity to have loved ones’ names engraved on a plaque and placed in the garden on a commemorative wall - which emulates the bricks used at the football stadium.

Keepmoat Stadium has already drawn up a list of people hoping to use the garden as their final resting place and hundreds more are expected to follow suit in the months to come.

Keepmoat chief executive David Blunt said: “We are very proud to be able to contribute to the community in a way which will bring a lot of joy to lifelong Doncaster Rovers fans – not forgetting fans of Doncaster Rugby League Club, the Athletics Club and Doncaster Rovers Belles.

“We have worked very hard to create a memorial garden which provides a tranquil environment for loved ones while emulating key features of the football club and stadium that sports fans have been loyal to throughout their lives.”

Stadium manager Julie Nichol said there had been many people asking if they can have their ashes scattered on the football pitch - but due to health and safety rules they are not allowed to.

She said: “The memorial garden is the perfect compromise and it has been built as close to the stadium entrance as possible to make it a poignant resting place.

“We’ve been planning the memorial garden for 18 months and positive comments have been received from both the Dons and Doncaster Rovers regarding a suitable and tranquil resting place for dedicated fans of both teams.”