‘I’m not dead’, says man who found own gravestone

Retired welder sets the record straight after finding headstone at cemetery.

‘I’m not dead’, says man who found own gravestone Paul Reid
Alan Hattel says news of his death has been exaggerated.

A man has insisted he’s alive – despite finding his own gravestone.

The memorial to 75-year-old Alan Hattel has been erected at Newmonthill Cemetery in Forfar, Angus.

He said friends had stopped calling because “people think I’m dead” – but he declared: “I’m still alive.”

The retired welder believes his ex-wife put it up after buying the plot because she wants them to be buried together.

Mr Hattel said: “My phone hasn’t rung for three or four months. I’ve been confused by it all, but now I know why nobody has been calling.

“I don’t even want to be buried – I plan to be cremated.”

Mr Hattel described the whole affair as “like something out of Only Fools and Horses”.

He has spoken to Angus Council and plans to put a cover over the headstone which bears his name.

“I’ve never, ever said I wanted to be buried alongside my ex-wife,” said Mr Hattel, who has two grown-up children with his former spouse.

“We’ve been separated 26 years and there’s no animosity but I’m struggling to take it all in.

“To find out you have a gravestone in a cemetery while you are still alive isn’t something that happens every day.”

A family member at Mrs Hattel’s home told The Courier: “This is a family matter being dealt with privately.”

Angus Council said it was unable to discuss the issue or disclose any information about who purchased the plot as it was a confidential matter.