Dying prankster arranged to be late for his own funeral

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A MAN who was infamous for his lack of punctuality played a posthumous prank on pals – by being late for his own funeral.

Mark Allison – from Airdrie, North Lanarkshire – died in June aged 49 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer 18 months previously.

In life he was known among his loved ones for his lack of punctuality and a “wicked sense of humour”.

And Mr Allison even took the opportunity of his own funeral to play a prank on unsuspecting grievers.

Mourners at his service last Friday were told to arrive at his service at Excelsior stadium – home of the Airdrieonians, the club he supported – at 9.30am.

Mark on a visit to the Berlin Wall
Mark on a visit to the Berlin Wall

But Mark had arranged for his coffin to arrive half an hour later, leaving the assembled crowd scratching their heads.

What they did not realise was that Mr Allison had written up a “bucket list” of things to do before his death – with the final item being a request to funeral directors to deliver him late.

Caroline Lambie – the humanist official who conducted his funeral – said: “At the funeral Mark played a joke on his guests.

“It wasn’t clear at the beginning and everyone was sitting there for half an hour while the music was playing, wondering what was going on.

“Usually as soon as the music starts playing the coffin is brought in, so people were a bit confused.

“Finally, the coffin arrived and I read out exactly what Mark had written, in the first person, where I explained how it had been on his bucket list to be late for his own funeral. Everyone was laughing.”

Following his diagnosis Mr Allison set about raising money for cancer charities.

His efforts saw him raise more than £70,000.

Mr Allison worked in the music industry, as a tour manager for artists including Scottish “folktronica” outfit The Beta Band.

Friends recalled how football and music were his greatest passions in life – and one of the other final items on his bucket list was to see The Stone Roses perform.

He achieved this when the band played a homecoming gig at the Etihad stadium in Manchester last month.

They also described him as a larger than life character, with a “wicked sense of humour”.

One close friend, Sandy Basu, 56, said of the funeral prank: “That was classic Mark. He was never punctual. But he was great at organising things.

“More or less from day one when he was diagnosed with cancer, he started planning his own funeral.

“When his coffin was lowered into the ground, The Stone Roses’ I Am The Resurrection was played. It was the most fantastic send-off.”

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