Express & Star

Friends of footballer who was stabbed to death on night out take campaign for justice to Euro 2024 tournament

Friends of a Black Country footballer who was stabbed to death on a night out are taking their campaign for justice over his killing to the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

Ryan Passey with best friend Jordan Poole at the Euros in France in 2016

Ryan Passey was just 24 when he died on a night out in Stourbridge in 2017 – a campaign for answers into his death was launched when a man who admitted knifing him to death at Chicago's nightclub was cleared by a jury of murder and manslaughter.

His friends Scott Mears and Adam McBride could be seen with a flag bearing his name draped over the tunnel as the England players came out before their 1-0 victory over Serbia on Sunday.

(L-R) Scott Mears and Adam McBride who were close friends of Ryan Passey before the England v Slovakia game

Ryan himself, who played football for Stourbridge and Wrens Nest FC amongst other teams, was a passionate England supporter and had attended the tournament in France in 2016.

Ryan Passey with best friend Jordan Poole at the Euros in France in 2016

The two are now heading back to the Black Country but Ryan's father Adrian, Justice for Ryan campaigner Jason Connon and eight other friends and family will set out on Wednesday to attend the game with Denmark in Frankfurt the next day.

They will be wearing specially made t-shirts and mixing with fellow England fans before and after the fixture.

Justice for Ryan campaigner and family friend Jason Connon

In July 2023 police launched a re-investigation into Ryan's murder which Mr Connon said is 'progressing well.'

He said: "The trip to Germany is two-fold. We are all passionate football and England fans and Ryan if he was here would almost certainly have been attending the tournament himself and enjoying the football and the atmosphere around it which we will be doing.

"We are going in his memory and also by being visible with the flags and t-shirts in the fan zones and around Munich, if people want to ask what it is all about we can speak to them because obviously the campaign is very much alive.

"I think as well with Adrian going it is something he wanted to do in memory of Ryan and he like all of us will be looking forward to the game.

Ryan Passey.

"We think England have every chance at this tournament and we are also proud of the Jude Bellingham link because of course he is a local lad.

"The police investigation is heading in the right direction and progressing well, that's all I can really say.

"We are in close contact with the officers re-examining the case and there is plenty of new evidence for them to pore over, it's not a short process but if we get the right result and justice for Ryan it will certainly have been worth the wait."

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