Ryemarket will fall silent this morning as Ryan Passey is laid to rest in Wollaston

Popular Stourbridge football player, Ryan Passey, will be laid to rest today, nearly seven weeks after he was fatally stabbed in Stourbridge town centre.

The much-loved 24-year-old, who was a youth player for Stourbridge FC in his teens, died on August 6th after being stabbed in the chest in 'Chicago's' in the Ryemarket, which has since been ordered to step up its safety and security policies.

Ryan, who also played for a host of other football teams across the borough, had just saved up enough money to buy his first house when his life was cut short.

As a tribute to the talented centre midfielder, a one-minute silence will be held in the Ryemarket in Stourbridge at 11am and the bells will be rung at St Thomas's Church to coincide with his funeral - which will also take place at 11am at St James's Church, Bridgnorth Road, Wollaston, followed by a wake at The Raven pub in Woods Lane.

A spokesman for Chicago's confirmed the town centre bar where the tragedy happened would be closed for the entire day of Ryan's funeral as a mark of respect. The family, however, had originally asked for it to remain closed entirely until after Ryan had been laid to rest but their plea fell on deaf ears and the venue reopened on September 8th.

Heartbroken relatives and friends of the young footballer, have since gathered outside the bar on each Friday night since to let club bosses know how they feel about the decision to relaunch just four weeks after Ryan's sudden death.

Meanwhile - 7,500 names have been gathered on petitions, left outside the venue and online, calling for bar's closure - and Ryan's family say they hope people will continue to sign until they reach the 10,000 mark, which should trigger a government response. Anyone wishing to sign the online petition can do so by clicking here.

A fund set up for Ryan’s family has also raised more than £2,500. Anyone still wishing to donate can do so at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ryanpassey.

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