THE widow of a popular Caia Park man, has blasted the council for ordering her to remove fencing from around his grave.

Kelly Ford, widow of FC Queens Park manager Martin Ford whose sudden death aged 39, on May 7 shocked and stunned Wrexham and the wider North Wales football community, says Wrexham Council has ordered her to remove fencing from around his burial plot by August 3, or the authority will remove it themselves.

Mr Ford was buried at Plas Acton Cemetery in Pandy after his funeral took place at St Giles' Church on May 23, an event which saw Wrexham town centre packed with mourners creating a sea of red.

In June vandals trashed Mr Ford's grave and Mrs Ford says the council has added to her grief with this "insensitive" order.

She said: "Basically this fence is a couple of inches high.

"It was put up just before the funeral of Martin's friend, who is buried next to him, and I've had a letter in this last week to say it is not permitted and has to be removed by August 3. And if it's not, they will take it down themselves.

"I'm really annoyed and frustrated because we've bought that plot.

"Other graves have extravagant cast-iron fences and others are not maintained and are really untidy, and covered in weeds. Martin's has never been untidy and I would never let it get untidy.

"If they want to inspect it once a week that's fine by me but I don't understand why they have a problem with this fence and I find the way it's been handled is really disrespectful."

Councillor David A Bithell, Wrexham Council's lead member for environment and transport, said the authority had not wished to cause upset.

He said: “As caretakers of the cemetery, we have a duty to maintain it as a peaceful and calm setting.

"As such, families are always given information as to what may or may not be placed on plots before burials take place, and we are responsible either for contacting grave owners and asking them to remove non-permitted items, or carefully collecting ourselves until they are able to collect them.

“Mrs Ford has been sent a letter asking her to remove the fencing, and would also have been advised on regulations applying to the lawned part of the cemetery.

“While we have to maintain the appearance of our cemeteries, we never want to cause any upset. We appreciate issues such as these are very sensitive, and will always try to deal with individuals sympathetically.”