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Family of England fan who died in police custody in Bulgaria call on local MP to help force independent inquiry

Matt Law
Rob Spray died while in police custody ahead of England’s Euro 2020 qualifying game against Bulgaria in Sofia

The family of the England football fan who died in Bulgaria are hoping that the MP for Cannock Chase Amanda Milling can help them find a breakthrough in their desperate bid to force an independent inquiry.

It is now over a week since Rob Spray, from Heath Hayes in Cannock, died while in police custody ahead of England’s Euro 2020 qualifying game against Bulgaria in Sofia.

The body of Mr Spray is due to arrive back in England this week, when an autopsy will be carried out to try to determine the 32-year-old’s cause of death.

Bulgarian police have also informed Staffordshire police that they have 10 witness statements and CCTV footage of Mr Spray in Pirogov hospital, where local reports had claimed he had become “aggressive”.

But the family are still seeking confirmation that an independent inquiry into Mr Spray’s death will be held and they will meet Ms Milling to discuss whether or not the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are responding to pressure.

Andrew McMath (centre) organised the trip to Sofia for himself and his friends, including Rob Spray (right), as a 30th birthday celebration

An online petition calling for an independent inquiry has now passed 10,000 signatures, while Ms Milling has told Mr Spray’s family that she has discussed the issue with ministers from the FCO.

Mr Spray’s family are also growing anxious over why they have not yet heard anything about the toxicology report, which they hope will confirm their belief that drugs were not the cause of Mr Spray’s death, that had been promised at the end of last week.

Ms Milling is yet to make any public statement on the matter, but she has agreed to meet Mr Spray’s family and has indicated that she is willing to put pressure on the FCO to act.

Mr Spray was a West Bromwich Albion season ticket holder and the club were due to honour his memory during Tuesday night’s Championship game against Barnsley.