Hundreds attend Stourbridge vigil for Ryan Passey
Family and friends of Stourbridge stab victim Ryan Passey attended an emotional vigil in his honour today.
Hundreds of people packed the square next to the Ryemarket shopping centre in the town to pay tribute to the 24-year-old.
A one-minute silence was held at noon, while Mr Passey's aunt Sue addressed the crowd.
Balloons were then released into the clear summer sky, while some of the popular footballer's friends manned a jukebox.
Mr Passey's step-sister Chelsey Taylor-Hill said: "Ryan was loved by everybody.
"I'm not at all surprised by how many people are here because he was always playing football with someone.
"Everyone loved him and he loved everybody so much.
"As a family we are taking every day at a time – it's very hard.
"I'd like to thank everyone for coming."
Mr Passey, from Quarry Bank, died after being stabbed at Chicago’s in Stourbridge last Sunday .
A wall outside the nightclub has been turned into a shrine to Mr Passey, with scores of floral tributes and photographs put up.
People have also written personal tributes to the ex-Stourbridge FC youth player.
His friend Marcos James wrote on Facebook after the vigil: "Massive turn out in Stourbridge for Ryan Passey. Very brave of Ada and Gill. RIP mate."
Sarah Zoe Nicklin said: "Great turn out this afternoon ❤️ and a very touching tribute to Ryan xx"
Katie Shaw added: "Was an amazing turn out for a special lad. [I'm] glad to have known him through out school and to see him on regular basis round by me mom's cleaning everyone's windows. Such a shame my heart goes out to his parents x"
Ryan Baker commented: "Just by looking at the photo you can tell how much the lad was loved by people, incredible turnout."
Meanwhile a fundraiser set up in memory of Mr Passey has topped its target in just 48 hours after being set up on Thursday.
Friends aimed to raise £2,000 but the JustGiving page has already had £2,170 donated.
Jason Connon, who set up the page, wrote: “He loved and lived life for his family and his friends.
"No words can express the kind of person Ryan was to many of us, and the impact he had on those around him.
“I have spoken with Ryan’s dad and wanted to set up this page, so people can show their support.
“All donations will be given to his family to donate to charities as they see fit in Ryan’s memory.
“Ryan was a dear friend to many of us and will be truly missed.”
A minute's silence was held on Saturday ahead of Team Dudley's fixture against Bromyard Town, while the club also put Mr Passey's picture on the front of its matchday programme.
- Kobe Murray, 19, of The Broadway in Dudley, has been charged with Mr Passey's murder. He will appear at Birmingham Crown Court for a plea hearing on September 5.