Football fans raise more than £8,000 for funeral of Walsall fan killed in Blackpool attack

Football fans have come together to raise more than £8,000 for the funeral of a Walsall fan who died in Blackpool.

Ryan David Harvey
Ryan David Harvey

Officers were called to reports of people fighting on at Central Drive at 5.33pm on Saturday, and upon arrival found 22-year-old Ryan David Harvey with a serious head injury.

Ryan was taken to Royal Preston Hospital but died on Tuesday morning, prompting Lancashire Police to launch a murder investigation.

There has been an outpouring of tributes and support from fellow Saddlers fans since Ryan's death was announced, including a GoFundMe page which has raised more than £8,000 in 24 hours.

Hundreds of supporters have donated alongside Walsall players Conor Wilkinson and Sam Perry, as well as representatives from the club's media team.

In a tribute, Ryan’s family described him as a "lifelong Walsall FC fan who lived and breathed football" and someone who "would do anything for anybody".

There is also a planned bike ride starting from the Spotted Cow Bloxwich on July 9 at around 10am ahead of Walsall's friendly game against Aston Villa.

Walsall FC paid a tribute, saying: "We're sorry to hear this extremely sad news. Our thoughts are with Ryan's family and friends at this difficult time."

Ryan's friend, Aaron Brewer, also shared a tribute on social media: "Can’t believe I am writing this.

"Rest In Peace Ryan Harvey. What a proper nice and genuine lad."

A post mortem concluded that the cause of Ryan’s death was blunt head trauma, with enquiries to establish exactly how his came about his injuries ongoing.

A 32-year-old man from Fleetwood has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in custody on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile 36-year-old Paul Atherton, from Knowsley Crescent, Thornton Cleveleys, has been charged with wounding, assault and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

He appeared before Blackpool magistrates on Monday and was remanded in custody. He is next due to appear at Preston Crown Court on July 27.

Temporary DCI Rach Higson, of Lancashire Police's Force Major Investigation Team, said: "This altercation has led to a young man losing his life and my thoughts are very much with Ryan’s family and friends at this time.

"We have a dedicated team of officers assigned to this investigation and we are determined to establish exactly what occurred and identify everybody involved.

"Although we have now made two arrests our enquiries are very much ongoing.

"I would ask anybody with information or CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage which could assist our enquiries to come forward as soon as possible.

"This happened on a busy street in the middle of the day where there were lots of people and traffic around."

Anyone with information or footage is asked to email forcecontrolroom@lancashire.police.uk or call 101, quoting log number 1127 of the 25th June.

The GoFundMe page can be found at gofundme.com/f/ryan-harvey.

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