A CHARITY motorcycle ride out into the Shropshire countryside has helped raise more than £2,000 to help a family's fight for justice.

John Hill of The Widders pub in Colley Gate organised the Ryan Passey Charity Motorcycle Ride, which saw hundreds of bikers ride out from the pub to the Quatt bikers’ café at Bridgnorth, to help raise funds for the Justice for Ryan campaign.

Family and friends launched the campaign earlier this year to seek justice for 24-year-old Stourbridge footballer Ryan (pictured below) who was stabbed to death at the former Chicagos bar in the Ryemarket in August 2017 but whose killer Kobe Murray, from Dudley, walked free from court after a jury acquitted him of murder and manslaughter despite hearing testimony in which he admitted “stabbing out” during an altercation.

Campaigners are pushing for a new 'Ryan’s Law' to be created to give bereft families the right of appeal following criminal proceedings where an acquittal is believed to be ‘perverse’.

Stourbridge News:

Currently the law affords no opportunity for people to appeal not guilty verdicts that are considered contrary to what was expected in light of the evidence presented.

A host of events are being lined up to help garner support for the campaign and raise funds and the motorcycle ride has given it a good kick start.

Campaign spokesman and family friend Jason Connon said: "Over 200 bikers turned up for the event and in total the day raised just over £2,000."

He said he and Ryan's dad Adrian Passey, mum Gillian Taylor and step-dad Phil Taylor, who all attended the charity ride out, "would like to send our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to John for all his hard work and efforts organising the event and to everyone who helped out on the day and to all of the community that came out in support".

He added: "It was emotional - there were people standing and applauding as the bike rally was going through."

John, a family friend whose charity events have raised around £30,000 for a variety of causes over the last five years, told the News the event exceeded all expectations, adding: "It was amazing and the weather was beautiful. They've got big hearts - the bikers have."

Stourbridge News:

The day also included an auction, tombola and raffle and the pub in Barrack Lane has been selling wristbands remembering Ryan for £2.50 each.

A memorial football match between Wolves All-Stars and a Justice for Ryan team will be the next fundraising event for the campaign.

It will take place at Stourbridge FC on Sunday September 30 following a march from the town which organisers hope will act as a demonstration against knife crime.

To find out more about the football match and to keep up with the campaign go to the Respect For Ryan Campaign page or Justice For Ryan Campaign Group on Facebook.

Meanwhile - an online Justice for Ryan petition calling for changes to the criminal justice system had this week notched up almost 25,000 signatures and names gathered on further hard copy petitions have now totalled around 15,000.

Mr Connon said: "We're up to about 40,000. We've been told ministers will debate the issue once we get to 100,000. We will get there. I'm confident we will. The outpouring of support from the local community has been absolutely wonderful."

To sign the petition go to www.change.org/p/justice-for-ryan-ryan-s-law