In hot water over Turf Moor ashes joke

Tony Livesey at the opening of Nelson Town Centre. Photo Ben Parsons
Tony Livesey at the opening of Nelson Town Centre. Photo Ben Parsons
Share this article

For more than two decades I have enjoyed watching, and more recently listening to, the ever-burgeoning career of my old friend and former colleague Tony Livesey.

We got used to his voice on the local BBC radio station.

Then he started doing television documentaries.

That spread to BBC Look North West and then a reporter’s role on the ever-popular One Show on BBC One.

And now, I believe, he has found his real home as the new co-host of BBC 5 Live’s Drive show.

I enjoy his interviews and insightful questioning.

I enjoy his delightful Lancastrianism and the fact he manages to mention the Clarets at least once an hour!

And I can think of a couple of politicians who might think twice before answering his calls in the future.

He never says much that I find a great deal to disagree with and I never believe he is going to find himself in water approaching anything like “hot” with his comments.

But the other day I knew he was going to find himself in some sort of trouble.

Why? A debate was going on about football fans, I think in Brazil, being offered plots to be buried near their favourite stadium.

Tony, inimitably, piped up that he was going to have his ashes spread at Turf Moor, knowing full well the club does not allow this.

He then went on to say his friends were going to get round this by smuggling his ashes “Great Escape” style into the ground in their trouser pockets and then spread them when no one was watching.

All very tongue-in-cheek to say the least.

But I knew someone out there would have to put a spin on it.

And, sure enough, within 48 hours, one of the “red top” newspapers had an online story saying the football club were taking a very dim view of the comments.

The club instantly denied having said anything about it at all ... and I know who I would rather believe!

Keep up the good work Tony and remember I have a pair of matchday trousers with especially holey pockets should you ever need my services!