THERE were emotional scenes in Stourbridge as a memorial plaque remembering popular footballer Ryan Passey was unveiled outside the club where he was stabbed to death.

Ryan's heartbroken dad Ade, mum Gill and step-dad Phil unveiled the commemorative piece which has been sited on the walls of the old Chicago's nightclub in the Ryemarket where Ryan (pictured below) from Quarry Bank was fatally stabbed in August 2017.

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The venue is soon to re-open as a new nightspot but loved ones of 24-year-old Ryan, who used to play for Stourbridge Football Club's youth team and later Wren's Nest FC, wanted to ensure there was a permanent memorial at the scene of the tragedy so people can remember Ryan and lay flowers and candles on special occasions such as on his birthday and at Christmastime.

Relatives and friends choked back the tears as the zinc plaque, featuring a picture of Ryan and a message reminding people to smile and remember the happy times, was unveiled at midday today (Saturday November 16).

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Jason Connon, spokesman for the Justice for Ryan campaign, said: "The biggest fear Ryan's family have is that people might start to forget about Ryan. This will be a permanent memorial for Ryan - and family and friends can come out any time they feel they want their own personal time here - we've got somewhere in town that will be forever."

Ryan's mum Gill, aged 53, said it had been an "overwhelming" morning - and she told the News: "The people of Stourbridge want to come here and lay a few flowers."

She said Ryan, a self-employed window cleaner, "was so loved" and she added: "It's still emotional."

Dudley News: Ryan's mum Gill Taylor, dad Ade Passey and step-dad Phil TaylorRyan's mum Gill Taylor, dad Ade Passey and step-dad Phil Taylor

Ryan's dad Ade, aged 56, added: "I sit in the coffee shop and look out at the people that just stop and put stuff down for Ryan. It's a nice touch for him."

Step-dad Phil, aged 52, added: "It's a good reminder for the people of Stourbridge and anyone that comes to the new club that something happened here and maybe they'll take a look at it and think before committing any acts of violence."

The venue is set to re-open on Friday November 22 as a new bar named Soda Lounge which will stay open until 2.30am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Ryan's family say they hope the new venture will not include a dance floor and they have urged Soda Lounge bosses to ensure they operate strict safety checks to keep revellers safe.

Meanwhile - the family continues their fight for justice for Ryan whose killer walked free in February after a trial in which he admitted to jurors that he had "stabbed out" during a disturbance inside the club on August 6.

Mr Connon, of Justice for Ryan, said the family has had barristers and private detectives reviewing the case which they have branded a miscarriage of justice and they expect to announce how they plan to take their legal fight forwards shortly.