Family of British woman raped and killed in Qatar write to Gareth Southgate and England team ahead of World Cup

Lauren Patterson was murdered in 2013  (Family submitted)
Lauren Patterson was murdered in 2013 (Family submitted)

A grieving mother whose daughter was raped and killed in Qatar has written to the England football team to share her story ahead of the World Cup, requesting they highlight the case.

Alison Patterson addressed letters to Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate and all 26 squad members ahead of the tournament, which kicks off in the Gulf state on Sunday.

She wants the players to remember Lauren, who was teaching in capital Doha when she went missing in 2013 and her body was later found in a desert. A fitting tribute, Ms Patterson said, would be for a goal to be dedicated to her - perhaps by players forming the letter L.

Badr Hashim Khamis Abdallah al-Jabr was convicted of murdering and raping the 24-year-old. He was given ten-and-a-half years imprisonment, despite Qatari authorities initially saying he would face the death penalty.

Some £200,000 in compensation reportedly only just covered the Patterson family’s legal and travel expenses as they travelled from their home in Kent to the Middle East and back.

Mrs Patterson, 57, said: “I want all the England players to think about Lauren when they run onto the pitch.

“If just one of them made an L-shape after scoring a goal or winning a match it would honour Lauren and mean so much.”

She addressed her 27 letters to either the Football Association or the bases of the players’ respective league clubs. Alongside the note, she posted a picture of Lauren.

Qatar has been a controversial choice to host the World Cup due to its human rights record and Mrs Patterson has previously criticised former England captain David Beckham for accepting a reported £150 million to help market the event.

She added: “There has been no apology, no recognition of the terrible thing that happened to her and the ordeal we are still going through years later.

“The World Cup is an opportunity for Qatar to show to the rest of the world that its society can be trusted.”

A spokesman for the Qatar World Cup wrote: “Crime prevention, and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all women in Qatar have always been a top priority.

“This is reflected in the fact that Qatar has been consistently ranked as one of the world's safest countries.

“We remain committed to enforcing protections for women and providing access to justice.

“Our thoughts are with the victim's family as they continue to mourn their loss.”

Mr Beckham’s representatives have not commented.