The 23-year-old man murdered on the dancefloor of the CRANE nightclub in Birmingham on Boxing Day has been named by police as Cody Fisher, a non-league footballer and school sports coach.
His family said in a statement: "They have broken our hearts; I have lost my best friend. My family and I are asking for privacy and respectfulness at this heart-breaking time."
#UPDATE | We can now name the young man who died as Cody Fisher.— Birmingham Police (@BrumPolice) December 27, 2022
His family said tonight: "They have broken our hearts; I have lost my best friend. My family and I are asking for privacy and respectfulness at this heart-breaking time." pic.twitter.com/xErz4SvBJ6
Fisher was in the Birmingham City FC Academy as a youth, and went on to play for several non-league clubs, including Bromsgrove Sporting, Stourbridge FC and Stratford Town,
Jed McCrory, the chairman of Stratford Town FC, spoke to Sky News, saying: “The players are heartbroken,” adding: “He was so well liked.”
The club also posted a statement on its website, writing: “Everyone at Stratford Town Football is saddened to hear of the tragic loss of one of our own players Cody Fisher.
“Our sincere condolences go to the family and friends of Cody Fisher. Our thoughts are with you at this very difficult time.”
Stourbridge FC posted a tribute on its website, writing: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Glassboys player Cody Fisher in such tragic circumstances yesterday.
“The Club would like to send our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
Bromsgrove Sporting shared a tribute on Twitter, writing: “All of us at Bromsgrove Sporting Football Club are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Cody Fisher.
“Cody, was a friend to many at the club and we send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones”.
Mixmag spoke to a friend of Cody Fisher who was with him on the night he was murdered, who said: "He's such a good lad. He doesn't have any badness in him. So for that to happen to him is just so sad.
"He's always smiling and had a lot going for him."
Woodrow First School, where Cody Fisher coached children, said to the BBC: "Everyone is devastated today to hear of the tragic and needless death of this bright, friendly and talented young man.
"Many of the children at school know Cody as their sports coach and have enjoyed working with him."
Attempts were made to save his life, but he was pronounced dead around 30 minutes later.
A murder investigation has been launched by West Midlands Police to investigate the fatal incident.
Police are viewing CCTV footage from the nightclub and have urged eye witnesses to come forward with information.
An attendee named Daisy Allen witnessed the incident and told Mixmag: "The people seemed to be looking for trouble, it was unfair. The boy had fell to his knees and as he went to get up the person stabbed him in the neck area from what I could see. The person that stabbed him had a T-shirt over the lower part of his face."
Another man told Mixmag that the search on the way in wasn't thorough and also described the atmosphere as "a bit moody," adding that: "There was people walking about in balaclavas and shit like that."
In a statement sent to Mixmag, CRANE said: "We have a thorough search policy in place for any and all patrons entering and leaving the venue. This includes the deployment of metal detectors, pat downs, pocket checks, wallet inspections, bag searches and age verification procedures. Searches are conducted in accordance with SIA guidance and best practice. The venue is patrolled by SIA security staff whom responded to the incident as it unfolded on the night.
"The relevant CCTV footage is with West Midlands Police and we are working closely with any requests to assist them with their enquiries.
"On Boxing Day we had an onsite paramedic led team as per our venue policy, who arrived at the scene quickly to administer first aid to the victim until the arrival of the Ambulance Service.
"We would like to extend deepest condolences to the family, friends and anyone else affected by this tragedy. We will continue to work closely with West Midlands Police."
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Editor & Digital Director, follow him on Twitter