Cody Fisher: Family pay tribute to footballer, 23, killed in Birmingham nightclub stabbing

Cody Fisher was stabbed to death on the dancefloor of a nightclub in Birmingham Credit: West Midlands Police

A 23-year-old who was stabbed to death in a nightclub in Birmingham has been named as footballer Cody Fisher, as his heartbroken family paid tribute to their "best friend".

He was out celebrating with friends at The Crane in Digbeth on Boxing Day when he was attacked shortly before midnight.

Mr Fisher, who played football for Bromsgrove Sporting, was attacked in the Crane venue in Adderley Street, Digbeth, just before 11.45pm, West Midlands Police said.

He had been on a night out with friends when he was approached by a group of people and stabbed, according to the force.

A statement shared by the police and attributed to the victim’s family said: "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."

Despite efforts to save Mr Fisher, he was pronounced dead around half an hour after officers were called to the scene.

Revellers at the nightclub criticised security searches at the event and recalled a "moody" atmosphere inside the venue.

Sydnee Power, from Birmingham, described "groups of lads" who were "looking to cause trouble".

The 23-year-old said, "As soon as me and my friends walked in, we got a very weird vibe and the atmosphere wasn’t good.

"There were just groups of lads everywhere, most of them looked moody.

"A lot of them were definitely looking to cause trouble, they clearly weren’t there to enjoy the music."

The 23 year old also worked as a primary school PE teacher at Woodrow First School and Nursery where pupils loved and admired him.

The school paid tribute on twitter, writing: "Everyone is devastated to hear of the tragic and needless death of this friendly and talented young man."

"Many of the children know Cody as their sports coach and love and admire him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace."

Bromsgrove Sporting described Mr Fisher as “a friend to many” at the club and sent its deepest condolences to his family in a statement posted on social media.

It said: “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.”

The Crane cancelled its New Year’s Eve event in light of the incident and said it was working closely with police as they continue to investigate.

A statement posted on the club’s Instagram page said: “We are all deeply shocked and saddened that a man lost his life last night as our Boxing Day event came to a close. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family and friends.

"We are working closely with West Midlands Police as they investigate this crime.

"We encourage anybody who witnessed this incident, or has any information to share which may help West Midlands Police, to contact them directly.

"We do not feel it is right to hold our New Year’s Eve event under these circumstances. All ticket holders will be contacted directly and refunded by the relevant ticket providers."

Police outside the Crane club a day after the alleged murder Credit: Phil Barnett/PA

In response to suggestions that security on the night was inadequate, the nightclub added: "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.

"The relevant CCTV footage is with West Midlands Police and we are working closely with any requests to assist them with their inquiries.

"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."

Police said hundreds of people were in attendance at the nightclub at the time of the stabbing and urged any witnesses to come forward.

Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was a young man enjoying himself with friends on a Boxing Day night out and our thoughts are with his friends and family today.

"We know there were hundreds of people in the nightclub at the time. While we’ve spoken to a number of them already, we still need to hear from anyone who was there and who witnessed or even filmed what happened.

"We believe that the victim was approached by a group of people, and was then stabbed, so we’re working hard to identify all of those involved."

The scene remains closed while evidence is gathered and neighbourhood officers will be patrolling the area over the coming days to offer reassurance.