Stuff that matters

The pub where missing rugby union player and X-Factor star Levi Davis was last seen has tried to speed up the Spanish police search for him by sending out haunting CCTV images of him leaving the popular venue.

Managers at the Old Irish Pub in Barcelona said they had sent cops in the Catalan capital the footage, even though the investigation in Spain has not formally been launched because police there said they were still awaiting official notification he is missing.

Confirmation they were actively co-operating in the hunt to find him came as Levi’s close friend Richard Squire opened up on his pain in an emotional social media message, accompanying an online fundraiser he launched in the last few hours.

The GoFundMe appeal has already raised £440 of its £3,000 goal less than 24 hours after it was posted, with more donations expected to flood in today.

He also revealed friends and family would be “walking the streets” in Barcelona and surrounding areas in the search for Levi and clues as to where he has been.

Ibiza-based Richard – who has told how his pal announced “suddenly” he was leaving the island for Barcelona on October 29 and got on a ferry with no change of clothes or cash – said in a message alongside a missing photo of Levi: “As many of you will have seen in the press and on social media, Levi Davis is currently missing, last seen in Barcelona.

“He’s struggled with his mental health for many years and we, his friends and family, are extremely concerned for him.

“Thanks to so many people sharing his image and poster, we’ve had some possible sightings and need to get his friends and family on the ground in Spain to walk the streets looking for him and follow up on any leads.

“This obviously costs money, so I’ve set up this page to ask for your help.

“Money raised will be used to cover travel and accommodation costs and, once he’s found, get him the professional help he needs.

“Any money left over will be donated to a charity that can help other vulnerable people.

“Thank you for your help.”

Richard confirmed the last sighting of Levi, 24, who was on ITV ’s Celebrity X Factor in 2019 and E4’s Celebs Go Dating in 2020, was at the Irish pub off Barcelona’s famous La Rambla late on October 29.

Grainy footage showed him leaving carrying a small rucksack on his back.

Overnight, a manager at the pub said: “On Monday morning, without even the investigation in Spain started, we have provided local police with the CCTV recording of missing Levi Davis, last seen leaving the Old Irish Pub Barcelona alone at 10pm on October 29.

“We urge everyone who has seen Mr Davis to contact local authorities.

“We hope that Levi will be safe home soon.”

Spanish police said at lunchtime yesterday they were still waiting to receive official notification former Bath winger Levi, who came out as bisexual in a 2020 Mail On Sunday interview and has spoken openly about his mental health problems, was missing.

A spokeswoman for the regional Mossos d’Esquadra force in Barcelona said: “We are aware of the news of this man’s disappearance from press reports and social media but are still awaiting official notification he is missing.

“It appears he was reported missing by his family in the UK but that notification has not yet reached us.

“We cannot launch a formal investigation until it does but are working on the basis that it may reach us later today.

“Investigators will then be tasked with looking into what might have happened and trying to ascertain among other things whether it’s a voluntary disappearance or could be linked to a crime.

“That work will likely involve talking to potential witnesses and possibly relatives.”

A colleague confirmed late last night “nothing had changed”.

Levi’s sister Candeece Balfour, 23, has admitted she is scared about his wellbeing and said: “I just want to tell him that I love him.”

His mum Julie Davis revealed yesterday he was considering retiring from rugby due to injury, adding: “Rugby has not been the best at looking after Levi and he’s suffered a lot of racial prejudice.

“He didn’t have a pub and had money worries. There was some very deep emotional stuff around relationships that I really can’t go into.

“It seems as if everything just got too much and it’s led to Levi going missing.”