Belfast Telegraph

Euro 2016: Top stylist's ashes are scattered in stadium seat

A Northern Ireland fan who attended last night's epic win over Ukraine in Lyon has spoken movingly about scattering his football-mad dad's ashes at the French stadium.

David Aumonier was one of the UK's leading hairdressers and known to his many clients - including the 1982 and 1986 Northern Ireland World Cup squads - as "Mr Bangor".

The passionate Northern Ireland and Manchester City football supporter passed away last month at the age of 58 after a battle with cancer.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, his 20-year-old son, Davis, described travelling to the French stadium in Lyon to scatter his father's ashes on the seat David would have been sitting in last night.

Initially, he was unsure if he would even be allowed into the stadium with the ashes.

"There was a wee bit of an issue about it, a communication issue," Davis said.

"But just like my dad, David Aumonier, got in everywhere, he got in there as well.

"They were very nice. We got in and I was sitting with (David's friend) Philip Ash, but at the end when Philip left I just scattered it on his seat, number 69."

Davis said watching Northern Ireland qualify for the Euros had been a great comfort to his dad in his final months.

"It made him so happy even in his dying days that I was going to the matches with his friends looking after me," he added. "He would have loved it."

"When (former Northern Ireland manager) Nigel Worthington was on, he kept saying it was awful, very bad and wasn't going anywhere. But big (Michael) O'Neill came in and sorted it out for us and he was so happy. He loved Windsor Park and he loved the banter there."

In the past month, Davis, a student at Glasgow University, also recorded the charity song Don't Worry for his father.

"I did a song on my SoundCloud just for my family, saying 'Don't worry, keep going, love is here'," said Davis.

"My dad loved it - he thought it was fantastic."

Davis explained that while growing up, football was at the centre of his home life.

"For three hours of my life I was a Chelsea fan when I was three years old," he recalled.

"I said 'Dad, I'm a Chelsea fan,' and he said 'bloody sure you're not'. He told me I was a follower of Manchester City and I didn't have a say in the matter.

"I loved that story, but that's what my mum says - his death has just as much meaning as his life now because so many people understand death and coping with it."

Reflecting on the trip to France Davis added: "It's sad but beautiful, I can't get over all the kindness of everyone. Everyone's been so lovely and it's a shame that everyone has come together over such sad circumstances."

by allan preston

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph