The family of Rob Spray have yet to be told his time of death in Bulgarian police custody as they prepare for his funeral on the day of England’s latest Euro 2020 qualifying game against Montenegro.
Mr Spray died ahead of England’s last match against Bulgaria in Sofia and his funeral will take place next Thursday, November 14, at Staffordshire Crematorium - the same day Gareth Southgate’s team entertain Montenegro at Wembley.
But Mr Spray’s family are still seeking answers over his death, particularly why he was taken out of hospital and put in police custody before suffering a cardiac arrest, and an independent prosecutor in Bulgaria has been put in charge of an inquiry.
It has also now emerged that Mr Spray’s family have not yet been given a time for his death, which Staffordshire Police are chasing from Bulgarian authorities.
Given Mr Spray died in transit after being taken from Pirigov hospital by police, the family believe this could be an important piece of information that has also been requested by the undertaker.
Calls for further information and the completion of an independent inquiry have been backed by MEP Anthea McIntyre, who has promised to do everything in her power to help Mr Spray’s family.
Miss McIntyre said: “A truly independent inquiry is needed to get right to the truth of what happened - not only before Rob went to hospital but after he was taken out of the hospital's care in a police vehicle.
“I will be informing Bulgarian colleagues in the European Parliament about the family's concerns and seeking their help in pursuing the truth behind this tragic case at all costs.”
Mourners at the funeral of Mr Spray, who was a West Bromwich Albion season ticket holder, have been invited to wear football shirts as a recognition of his love for football.