Stoke & Staffordshire

Family of England fan Rob Spray who died in Sofia 'broken'

Rob Spray Image copyright GoFundMe
Image caption Rob Spray travelled to Bulgaria to watch England's Euro qualifier

The sister of a football fan who died in Bulgaria ahead of England's Euro 2020 qualifier says the family has been left "absolutely broken".

Rob Spray, 32, was found in Sofia city centre in what authorities said was a "helpless condition" on Monday morning.

Mr Spray, of Heath Hayes, Staffordshire, was taken to hospital but later died there. The cause of his death has not been established.

His sister Katie Brown said on Facebook the family did not know what happened.

On Monday, a spokesperson for Bulgaria's Ministry of Interior said police were working to "clarify all the circumstances in the incident".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption England fans showed vocal support for their team during the match at the Vasil Levski National Stadium

She said Mr Spray "suddenly began to act aggressively, raging and threatening" after he was taken to hospital at about 10:00 local time (08:00 BST).

Ms Brown said the suggestion her brother was aggressive was inaccurate, describing him as "the politest person you've ever met".

"He was a gentle giant," she said.

"He always said he was a lover not a fighter."

She said the family had received "no support" from the Foreign Office or Bulgarian authorities.

"They're not helping us at all," Ms Brown said.

"We want to go out and see what's happened but we need someone to help us."

Friends have so far raised more than £10,000 to "bring him back" and for his family.

The GoFundMe page describes West Bromwich Albion fan Mr Spray as "the nicest, softest lad".

The Foreign Office confirmed it was supporting his family and that it was in touch with Bulgarian authorities.

Another British man suffered a minor injury in a separate incident in Sofia, it added.

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