RELATIVES and friends of two Black Country footballers who died tragically in their early 20s will be keeping their memories alive at the next England match in Euro 2024.

Families of Olly Wilkes and Ryan Passey, both from the Brierley Hill area, have had huge banners made up dedicated to their lost loved ones.

Ryan’s family have already returned from a trip to see England play Denmark in Germany where they proudly displayed the banner they had created to highlight their Justice For Ryan campaign and to keep the 24-year-old in their thoughts at an event he likely would have attended had his life not been cut short in a fatal stabbing in a Stourbridge nightspot in August 2017.

Ryan’s dad Ade Passey and his pals returned back to the Black Country on Saturday June 22 - just in time to pass on their banner to fellow bereaved dad Simon Wilkes who has had a giant banner created in memory of his son Olly, who died from suicide in April 2017, aged just 22.

Simon, from Withymoor, picked up the banner before heading out with 25 fellow football fans early on Sunday June 23 to Germany where he plans to hold up both giant tributes to Ryan and Olly to ensure neither are forgotten.

He said he wanted to honour his son Olly and Ryan, who played football for local teams and who died within months of each other – devastating many of their shared friends in the Brierley Hill area.

Simon said: “Many of Olly’s mates were friends of Ryan.

“As a family and community we have supported the Justice For Ryan campaign since it began. We will post photos of our Olly’s flag over the next four days, along with Ryan’s – our boys who should be enjoying the Euro 2024 tournament with us.”