Hundreds pay tribute to Norfolk man Sam Alger found dead near Barcelona
- Credit: Archant
Tributes have been paid to Sam Alger, from Necton, who was found dead in Spain on Tuesday after attending a music festival near Barcelona. Police say there were no signs of violence.
The 25-year-old from Necton, near Swaffham, had been missing for nearly 36 hours after attending the Elrow festival in Viladecans, near Barcelona airport El Prat.
He had been with his brother and friends but disappeared at around midnight on Sunday after wandering off.
On Tuesday, friends who had been looking for him set up a Facebook page to help spread the word about his disappearance. But later that day his body was found in farmland near the Elrow music festival venue by police and friends.
The Facebook page said that Sam went missing 'after riots broke out outside the Elrow club on Sunday the 19th June at around 10pm'.
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It added that Sam then ran into fields nearby.
Los Mossos D'Esquadra, the Catalan police force, said initial findings suggested the death was not suspicious.
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'We launched a search for him on Monday evening after he was reported missing,' a Spanish police spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
'His body was discovered the following day in farmland in the Parc Agrari de Viladecans.
'There were no signs of violence on the body and everything points to this being a natural death, although we are waiting for the results of a post-mortem to determine the circumstances.'
She confirmed that an investigation was ongoing.
In a post on the Facebook page 'Find Sam Alger Missing in Barcelona', friends initially posted he was found drowned, but Catalan police would not confirm this.
Hundreds of messages of condolence have been left on the Facebook page since his death was announced.
Today the football club where Sam Alger played remembered him as a 'genuine' lad who made a lasting impression on everyone he met.
Dereham Town Football Club's manager Matt Henman spoke on behalf of the club in offering condolences to the Alger family and his friends.
'What has come across in the past couple of days from everyone I have spoken to is that he was just a lovely lad who made a lasting impression with his personality,' said Mr Henman.
'He was part of the youth team at under-18 and then he came through to the senior club. He also helped out as a referee with the youth teams on a Sunday.
'We always used him as an example to our academy students to show where football can take you and how you can forge a great career and a brilliant life for yourself in the sport.
'He knew he was never going to make it as a footballer but he loved the sport and looked for other avenues. He went off to study at Easton College and university and then got the internship at Hull City.
'I am sure his personality had a lot to do with getting the job in Qatar (as a performance analyst) as well because he could open doors for himself.
'Everyone remembers him as a lovely genuine lad and this is a truly horrible time.'
Tributes on the Facebook page read: 'No one can quite believe what has happened and everyone is truly heartbroken. Thank you everyone for the help and support and prayers, we appreciate it so much. Sam was one of the kindest most genuine and loving people anyone could wish to know and to have him taken from us is truly heartbreaking.
'While we know everyone will want to send their condolences, can we please ask everyone to send their messages to the group rather than message the family who need their privacy.
'Thank you again and please spare our dear friend Sam a prayer xxxxxxxxxx.'
Mr Alger worked as a performance analyst for the Qatar Stars League professional football team in the Middle East.
His dad, Micky Alger, posted before his body was found: 'This is my son, Samuel Alger. The kindest, nicest person in the world. Please, please help us find him. We are desperate for any information, however small or insignificant you think it may be. Any help whatsoever would be of great importance.'
His parents were understood to have flown out to Spain to join the search.
The last post on the page said: 'Thank you for everybody's help and support. Details of Sam's passing will be posted as soon as deemed suitable by Sam's family and close friends. Of course they are very busy and upset at this terrible time.
'The people this page has reached is astronomical and really does stress the importance of sharing these posts when tragic things like this happen.'
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: 'We are working with local authorities following the death of a British national in Spain.'
Festival goers complained that the event, which started at 9am on Sunday and was sold out, had been very badly organized, Spanish news site The Local reported.