LUKE Rhoden’s father has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his son and urged anyone with information about the events which led to his death to contact the authorities.
Norman Rhoden, 44, was initially told that his son, a former team-mate of Sam Tomkins in the Wigan youth teams, had fallen from a balcony in Ibiza before being restrained by police and suffering a heart attack.
But conflicting reports have since alleged that Spanish police dished out a “sustained beating” – with some tourists claiming officers had even stamped on the 25-year-old’s head.
Mr Rhoden, of Brownlow Avenue, Ince, said: “Police initially told us Luke had been acting erratically and had fallen from a balcony and suffered a cardiac arrest. As far as I was aware, that was that.
“But to hear that the police may have somehow been involved in his death made it feel like someone told me he had died again.
“I’m not saying he was acting like an angel – he was on a stag do – but was he excessively beaten?
“I’m just waiting for the post mortem report via the Foreign Office now and I’m led to believe that CCTV footage from the hotel has been seized by police.”
He added: “Luke was a cracking lad. He was always polite and well-mannered but he was a lad’s lad too who liked to train and keep fit.
“He had played rugby all his life but, after suffering a knee injury, tried his hand at boxing.
“He was more like my mate – we could sit and talk rubbish together for hours on end. What has happened to him is beyond belief because of the person he was.”
FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (FRIDAY) ...