Bid to rectify 'travesty' of Open champions' gravesites reaches halfway point
The East Lothian town produced no less than five Open winners in Willie Park snr, Willie Park jnr, David ‘Deacon’ Brown, Mungo Park and Bob Ferguson.
The two Willie Parks both have headstones on their graves in Inveresk Cemetery, but Brown, Mungo Park and Ferguson are all buried in unmarked plots.
“I’ve started a fund-raiser to try and get them recognised as it’s a travesty that’s not the case at the moment,” said Steven Hill, the captain of Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club. “If it was in St Andrews, they would have headstones for them.
“Unfortunately, Mungo Park and Deacon Brown are buried in pauper’s graves, but I have discovered where they are and I want headstones for them. I’ve raised about £3,500 and need about £6,000 to cover it.”
In 2013, a headstone was erected in Newington Cemetery in Edinburgh to mark the grave of Arnaud Massy, who was the first non-Britain to win The Open.
His burial ground was discovered by Douglas Seaton, a North Berwick-based golf historian, on the back of Massy, who landed his win in 1907, having been married to a Scot.
Hill was speaking in the week Musselburgh Old Course, which is the second oldest course in the world, celebrated its 350th anniversary. "There were 28 golf club-makers in Musselburgh alone at one time,” he added of the town’s impact on the game.
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