08:01 Saturday 18 January 2014

Suspected drug dealer charged in rugby club death probe

Written byLAURA HAMMOND

THE homeless man who died at Burton Rugby Club on Thursday has been named by police as Wayne Fotheringham.

Officers formally identified the 41-year-old yesterday, after he died at Peel Croft in the early hours of Thursday morning.

A man who was arrested in connection with the death has also now been charged with supply of class A drugs. Andrew Smith, 41, is due to appear at Cannock Magistrates’ Court this morning.

A police spokesman said: “Enquiries are continuing into the circumstances of the death. Relatives have been informed and specially-trained officers are supporting them at this very difficult time.”

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place next week.

It is understood that Mr Fotheringham had been sleeping rough in the grounds of the Lichfield Road club for some time.

Mick Cramp, chairman of Burton Soup Kitchen, said he used to use the Mosley Street facility, and was popular among the staff.

“He was well liked and I always got on with him ok. He was always good to me and treated me with respect.

“A lot of people have been asking about him,” Mr Cramp added.

Mr Fotheringham had recently received a new winter coat from a donation from Molson Coors.

Police were called to Burton Rugby Club by ambulance crews who were treating a man who had suffered a cardiac arrest.

They arrived shortly after 3am, but Mr Fotheringham died a short time later.

The ground, which was not being used by members of the club at the time, was cordoned off by police all day on Thursday, and it was thought the practice planned for that night may have had to relocate.

However, club secretary Ian Cartwright confirmed yesterday that the activity had gone ahead as planned.

He told the Mail: “This was a very sad thing to have happened

“It was a surprise. It’s not what we had expected or hoped by any stretch of the imagination. It was something of a shock.

“We have been cooperating with the police any way we can.”

He added that the club would continue to work with police if members were required to do so.

Yesterday, staff at Burton’s YMCA passed on their sympathies via Twitter. The tweet said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends, family and those close to the young man who passed away Thursday morning.”

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