FAMILY and friends of Ryan Passey will be remembering the popular Black Country footballer this coming weekend on the anniversary of his tragic death.

On Saturday August 6 it will have been five painful years since Ryan, who played for a host of borough football clubs including Wrens Nest FC, was stabbed to death in the old Chicago’s nightspot in Stourbridge.

The 24-year-old footballer’s family and friends continue to campaign for justice for Ryan whose killer was acquitted of both murder or manslaughter charges after a trial in February 2018 in which he pleaded self-defence.

Heartbroken loved ones have also over the last five years done their utmost to ensure Ryan is never forgotten by holding a series of memorial events including a summer charity motorcycle ride.

After a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic – the ‘Ride for Justice – Ride for Ryan’ event is back and will take place on Saturday August 6.

Family friend John Hill, of The Widders Pub, Cradley, has organised this year’s event which will include a fun day at the pub featuring a DJ, stalls, bouncy castle and live music.

As well as raising money for the family’s ongoing fight for justice, the ride out will also be a chance for people in the community to turn out and remember Ryan on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Jason Connon, of the Justice for Ryan campaign, said: “From early initial interest we are expecting this event to be much bigger than the last one we did in 2019 which saw around 300 riders gather in support.

“This year we will be riding from The Widders Pub in Cradley to Quatt Bike Café in Bridgnorth and back.

“On leaving pub at 11am we will be heading towards Stourbridge High Street and will ride past the former Chicago’s nightclub in memory of Ryan.

“It will be an opportunity for the public to come and see the hundreds of bikers and Ryan’s parents Ade, Gill and Phil who will be riding with the bikers.”

He said the last five years since losing Ryan have been filled with “continued pain, grief and devastation having to fight for proper justice following such a cowardly and evil act” and he added: “But we have continued to fight on with dignity and respect and we will never stop until justice is served.”

He said with August 6 also being the start of the new football season clubs across the borough have been asked to hold a minute’s applause in memory of Ryan before their games get underway.

Meanwhile, Wrens Nest FC will also be supporting the Justice for Ryan campaign next season and will feature the campaign logo on their new away strip.

Early in July, the Justice for Ryan team took their campaign to Parliament where they met Prime Minister Boris Johnson moments before he was hit with cabinet resignations that spelled the end of the road for him as PM.

The encounter with Mr Johnson followed a “really positive” meeting with Minister for Justice Tom Pursglove MP, arranged by Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb, about their campaign for legal changes and justice for families of heinous crimes.

Meanwhile, West Yorkshire Police has been carrying out a review into Ryan’s case and an update meeting has been scheduled for September.