England took on Bulgaria for the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers on October 14. Before the two teams faced off, an English fan died in Bulgarian police custody. The fallen fan has been identified as 32-year-old Rob Spray from Cannock, Staffs. Spray's sister claims that the family is broken by the death of her brother and that a fund-raising campaign will help recover his body as well as support the family.
The circumstances surrounding Spray's death are still mysterious. On Monday, Spray was found in the city centre of Sofia at around 10 in the morning. Bulgaria's Ministry of Interior told the press that Spray was in a "helpless state" when he was found.
An ambulance took the West Bromwich Albion fan to a nearby hospital. However, the staff at the hospital was forced to call the police when Spray supposedly behaved violently and threatened the staff.
Sofia police arrived at the hospital and took Spray into their custody. According to Bulgarian officials, the football fan collapsed on their way to the police station and died during the transport.
Katie Brown, Spray's sister, stated that the family was "absolutely broken" by the news of Spray's death. Brown said that the family is unaware of the circumstances surrounding her brother's death and they are awaiting Bulgarian police to conclude their investigation to give them closure.
The West Brom supporter is a season ticket holder, who had flown to Bulgaria with his friends to watch the qualifier, which ended up being marred by racism from Bulgarian fans.
Spray's friends took to Facebook to pay tribute to their fallen pal. Most of the comments and the tributes praised Spray as "one of the nicest blokes."
A GoFundMe page for the family has received nearly £15,000 by Wednesday. The funds raised will help arrange a funeral for Spray. Spray's father is suffering from prostate cancer and some of the funds might be used for his treatment. The Daily Star reported that the family will donate any money left from the fundraiser for prostate cancer research.