Football club to honour Ryan Passey on new away shirt

Ryan Passey's former football team will feature his name emblazoned across their shirts this season to mark the fifth anniversary of his death.

The new Wrens Nest away kit featuring the Justice For Ryan logo. Right: Ryan Passey.
The new Wrens Nest away kit featuring the Justice For Ryan logo. Right: Ryan Passey.

The new away tops of Wrens Nest FC include the 'Justice For Ryan' logo to honour the 24-year-old, who was killed in a Stourbridge nightclub in 2017.

It comes as clubs across the region prepare to honour Ryan's memory with a minute's applause before Saturday's season-opening games.

Ryan was stabbed to death on a night out at Chicago's nightclub.

Kobe Murray – now known as Kareem Gayle – was cleared of his murder and manslaughter despite admitting the stabbing, prompting Ryan's friends and family to launch a long-running campaign for justice.

Ryan spent two years at Wrens Nest and had played a match for the team hours before he was stabbed to death.

Wrens Nest chairman Shane Stevens, who was manager at the time, said the club wanted to do everything possible to raise awareness of the campaign and the scourge of knife crime.

He said: "Ryan was a talented midfielder who we regarded as the nucleus of the team.

"You always try and instil good values in a kid and he had it all, great attitude and character.

"Ryan is forever with us and we'll always remember him as a club. We will do whatever we can to help the campaign and hope young people take on board the lessons about knife crime."

The new Wrens Nest away kit featuring the Justice For Ryan logo

Mr Stevens, 59, said Ryan's death had such a devastating impact on everyone involved with Wrens Nest that the team considered folding.

Reflecting back on the day, he said the team were travelling back via coach from an away match after a defeat.

"It was our first game of the season and we'd lost 5-3," he said. "Ryan was a bit down because of the loss so I asked him how he was.

"I remember he tapped the badge on his shirt and gave me the thumbs up.

"It was one of the lad's birthdays so they all decided to go out. Then in the middle of the night I had that fateful phone call.

"It destroyed us. We even thought about folding the team."

After cancelling four games the team resumed, and in the years since has regularly honoured their former player by displaying the 'Ryan 4 ever' emblem in reference to his squad number.

Wrens Nest FC open their season with a game at Dudley Sports at 3pm on Saturday, where players from both teams will give a minute's applause in Ryan's memory.

Other clubs set to take part include Stourbridge, Halesowen, Lye Town, Cradley and Tividale.

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