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Family of England fan demand answers over death in Bulgarian police custody

Mystery death: Robert Spray had gone to Sofia to watch England play Bulgaria

THE family of an England football fan say they have received no answers about how he died in Bulgaria hours before Monday night’s European Championship qualifier.

Robert Spray, 32, was being taken to a police station when he died.

His sister, Katie Brown, said there were ‘inaccuracies’ in reports by the Bulgarian authorities, which alleged he was acting aggressively.

‘He was the politest person you’ve ever met, a gentle giant,’ she said.

More than £12,000 has been raised by friends and fellow supporters to repatriate Mr Spray’s body.

However, Ms Brown claimed her family had received ‘no support’ from the Foreign Office and had been liaising with Bulgarian authorities through Staffordshire Police. Officers told them West Bromwich fan Mr Spray, of Heath Hayes in Cannock, Staffordshire, died while being taken from a hospital to a police station.

‘They’re not helping us at all. The [Bulgarian] police aren’t talking to our police, so Interpol are getting involved,’ said Ms Brown. ‘There’s been no, “are you OK?”’

‘We want to go out and see what’s happened but we need someone to help us because we don’t know anything about Bulgaria.’

The Foreign Office said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man who died following an incident in Sofia and our staff are in contact with the UK and Bulgarian authorities.’

A GoFundMe page, set up by friends Roger Wootton and Sam Tongue says: ‘Don’t know exactly what’s happened but we do know Spray was the nicest, softest lad everyone ever met.

‘What happened is nothing but a tragedy. We all need to come together to support Spray’s family as much as we can.’