Family say farewell to 'gentle giant' and Albion fan Rob Spray

The family and friends of 'gentle giant' Rob Spray have said their final goodbyes to the much-loved Baggies fan.

The funeral procession made its way through the streets today honouring Rob Spray, inset
The funeral procession made its way through the streets today honouring Rob Spray, inset

The funeral for the 32-year-old was held earlier today at Stafford Crematorium, as the family continue their investigation into how HGV driver Rob died in Bulgaria.

Mourners were invited to wear football shirts, of any team, as Rob was carried into the funeral to The Liquidator, the tune that greets the players on to the pitch each week at the Hawthorns.

His coffin was decorated to reflect the love he had for West Bromwich Albion – Rob was a season ticket holder.

And his family had placed flowers reading "son" and "brother" around the casket.

Rob, who lived in Heath Hayes with his mother Jillian and father Malcolm, was discovered in "a helpless condition" on the streets of Sofia ahead of England's Euro 2022 qualifying match.

Rob Spray from Heath Hayes died while away in Bulgaria

He was taken to hospital, but Bulgarian authorities said he then became aggressive, and was taken to the police station.

But he died on the way to custody.

Rob's sister Katie Brown said previously: "Rob was a gentle giant, so soft. He loved the Albion, he was footy mad.

"He absolutely loved life. When I got the call from my dad, it's something you never expect to hear. It was devastating.

"It's just so out of character what we've heard about him. My brother was not a football hooligan. We just want to know what happened, we’re not getting any answers.

"Rob was so social. He loved being part of the family. He lived with mum and dad. I have 10-month-old twins, his nieces, who he adored."

A petition launched calling for the Foreign Office to investigate Rob's death has now reached almost 100,000 signatures.

And more than £25,000 has been raised on behalf of his family.

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