FRIENDS and relatives of footballer Ryan Passey, who was fatally stabbed at Chicago's in Stourbridge, have launched a charity appeal to raise £10,000 to continue their fight for justice after the teenager accused of murdering him walked free from court - having pleaded self-defence.

Kobe Murray, aged 19, of The Broadway, Dudley, was cleared of any wrong-doing in relation to the tragic death of 24-year-old Ryan from Quarry Bank at the town centre nightspot in August 2017 - despite having told jurors at Birmingham Crown Court during his trial that he "felt bone" as he pushed out forcefully, while holding a knife, as punches were thrown during a fracas in the busy bar.

The shock verdict, which saw Murray cleared of both murder and manslaughter, has left Ryan's heartbroken friends and family dumbfounded and prompted Stourbridge MP Margot James to write to Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP about the case.

Jason Connon, who has been acting as spokesman for Ryan's devastated family, said they now face "a long and difficult battle ahead to get the justice Ryan deserves" but he added: "We will never give up fighting until justice is served and we will be campaigning and appealing to the highest courts possible in order to get a judicial review and retrial."

Tory MP Ms James and leading criminologist Professor David Wilson have branded the verdict "perverse" and Mr Connon added: "The jury’s incompetency to understand the laws and failure to deliver any sentence sends out a very dangerous message and is completely wrong at a time when knife crime is on the increase throughout the UK.

"We will never accept the jury’s decision. We owe it not only to Ryan but to our children, families and the community we all live in - to fight to get this huge injustice corrected."

Businessman Mr Connon has now launched the Ryan Thomas Passey Foundation Charity to raise funds for the campaign that lies ahead.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by going to and typing Ryan Passey into the search box or click here.

Money raised will help to pay for specialist lawyers and to help raise awareness and educate young people about knife crime.