Croydon mother seeks help to find shoes of her dead 16 year old son 

Daniel’s shoes. Pic: Fiona Spargo-Mabbs.

The mother of a 16-year-old Croydon boy who died 10 years ago after taking the party drug MDMA is appealing for help to find the boy’s lost shoes.

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs OBE accidentally left Daniel’s pair of Nike high-tops on a train at Clapham Junction as she was on her way to speak about her son’s death at a school in Hounslow about two weeks ago.

Daniel Spargo-Mabbs. Pic: Fiona Spargo-Mabbs. 

She told Eastlondonlines: “I’m just absolutely heartbroken because they are very special to us. They’re just an old pair of trainers to anybody else, but they’re very special to us.” 

Her son Daniel Spargo-Mabbs was 16 years old when he died after being given the party drug MDMA at an illegal rave in Hillingdon in January 2014. As a result, Spargo-Mabbs founded the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation, a drug education charity that now marks its 10th anniversary. She was awarded an OBE by King Charles in 2022 for her efforts to help young people make safe choices about drugs.

The shoes, which Daniel bought about 12 years ago, were the pair he wore in the morning before setting off on his paper round which he had done since he was 13. 

‘Personal and intimate’

Spargo-Mabbs said she logged them onto lost property immediately when she got off the train and realised she had left them, but with no luck as they are still missing. 

She told ELL that she kept the pair of shoes because “there’s something about people’s shoes”. 

“There’s something very personal and very intimate. More than a jumper or a hat or a scarf or anything else, somebody’s shoes, they kind of have the shape of somebody’s feet. They have much more of the person left in them.” 

She took them to every school speaking event because she said the empty pair of shoes reenforced the story of what happened to Daniel and why the students should be conscious of the risks of drugs. 

On celebrating 10 years of the foundation, Spargo-Mabbs said: “It’s bittersweet. 10 years without Dan is too long. It was a very difficult anniversary, it’s always difficult. It’s also amazing because the foundation has achieved so much in 10 years, it’s grown and grown. As the director of the foundation, it’s fantastic, but as Daniel’s mum it’s too long.” 

‘I wish I’d Known’

Spargo-Mabbs wrote a book called I Wish I’d Known which advises parents and carers about young people and drug decisions. She said she wants parents to have conversations about drugs at home and be aware of how close the risks of drugs are to their children as they go through their teenage years. 

Daniel’s shoes are still missing; if you see them, please contact the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation

Fiona Spargo-Mabbs. Pic: Fiona Spargo-Mabbs.


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