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'Mourners' hold mock funeral to mark Blackburn Rovers relegation
2:04pm Monday 23rd July 2012 in Blackburn
‘MOURNERS’ drank to the memory of Premier League football in a funeral procession for Blackburn Rovers .
One hundred and fifty fans turned out for the tradition, which dates back more than 60 years, and saw a coffin draped in a St George’s flag, carried from the Fox and Hounds pub, Albion Road, to The Aqueduct pub in Bolton Road.
At the final destination, a humorous ‘eulogy’ was read out by actors dressed as an undertaker and a priest, and glasses were raised to happy memories.
Oliver Jones, one of the organisers from Rovers fansite BRFCS.co.uk, said it was ‘a perfect day’.
He said: “It went brilliantly, there were about 150 fans in the procession carrying banners and waving flags, and it was very dignified.
“It’s been a very family-friendly atomosphere, and the good weather has made it even better.”
Since 1948, whenever Rovers have been relegated, a coffin procession has been carried out in Bamber Bridge. Last season Blackburn finished 19th under Steve Kean.
Fans of Preston North End also carry out the ritual, but due to public order issues at the Preston burial after last year’s relegation, police and licensees could not agree on a way to make the procession take place safely following Rovers dropping out of the Premier League.
Rovers fans stepped in to save the tradition, deciding to bring it to the town for supporters to enjoy.
Mr Jones added: “We didn’t want to let the tradition die, and plans are now in place to have a similar resurrection parade through Ewood if we get promoted next year.”