Tributes have been paid to a “talented footballer” who was stabbed to death in a nightclub in Birmingham on Boxing Day.
West Midlands Police has confirmed that it has now launched a murder investigation and is appealing for information and witnesses after a man was stabbed to death on the dancefloor of The Crane nightclub in Birmingham on Boxing Day (26 December).
Officers were called to the nightclub on Adderley Street in the Digbeth area of Birmingham just before 11:45pm following reports that the 23-year-old man had been stabbed.
Despite efforts to save him, the man was pronounced dead around 30 minutes later.
The man has now been named as Cody Fisher.
Mr Fisher played football for Stratford Town FC – who are in the Southern League Premier Division Central – and he had also played for Bromsgrove Sporting FC.
His family say they are “heartbroken” and have “lost [a] best friend” in a moving tribute paid to him, as shared by Birmingham Police, and added that they are “asking for privacy and respectfulness at this heartbreaking time”.
Tributes from Mr Fisher’s current and former clubs have also been paid.
Stratford Town FC paid tribute on social media: “Everyone at Stratford Town is saddened to hear of the tragic loss of one of our own players. Our sincere condolences go to the family and friends of Cody and our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.”
The club’s chairman, Jed McCrory, also described Mr Fisher as a “talented footballer” and a “lovely, lovely young man”.
Bromsgrove Sporting FC say they are also “deeply saddened”, and that “Cody was a friend to many at the club”.
West Midlands Police say Mr Fisher’s family are being support by specialist officers.
With a murder investigation now having been launched, and detectives viewing CCTV from the nightclub, the force is urging anyone who was in the area at the time to get in touch with any information that may be able to help.
No one has been arrested at this stage.
“This was a young man enjoying himself with friends on a Boxing Day night out and our thoughts are with his friends and family,” said Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood from West Midlands Police, who is leading the investigation.
“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 [as] 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 officers gather evidence, and neighbourhood officers will be patrolling the area over the coming days to offer reassurance, West Midlands Police confirmed.
Anyone with information has been asked to get in touch via Live Chat on the West Midlands Police website, by quoting log 3792 of 26 December, or alternatively, they can submit information, pictures, or video to the dedicated major incident portal here.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image – West Midlands Police
This hidden Manchester pasta and dumplings restaurant has just made the Michelin Guide
Michelin has just added some new additions to its guide, and one of our favourite Manchester restaurants has finally made the cut.
Loved by locals for its continental pasta and dumplings, gorgeous European wine list and sake collection, The Sparrows in the Green Quarter is something of a hidden gem – tucked in a disused railway arch on Red Bank.
It received rave reviews from local and national critics alike when it first opened in 2019 in a tiny space with room for just 12 covers. Since then, it’s relocated to a bigger home and its following has grown significantly.
After spending years wowing foodies in the know, the restaurant has made it onto the radar of Michelin’s inspectors at last – and we have to say, the accolade is well deserved indeed.
Front of house is headed up by Polish-born Kasia Hitchcock with her chef partner Franco Concli at the helm in the kitchen. Plates celebrate Franco’s Tyrolean heritage, with their signature dish spätzle, a rustic fresh egg pasta from which the restaurant takes its name, sitting front and centre.
Traditionally made by scraping dough from the wooden board straight into a pot of boiling water, these irregular-shaped delights translate from Swabian-German to mean “little sparrows.”
Served in multiples ways, they can be enjoyed either savoury or sweet – mixed with braised onions into a creamy gruyere and Emmental cheese sauce, as is traditional, or transformed into a pudding with a touch of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
Joining the now seventeen Manchester restaurants to be featured in the prestigious guide, its description reads as follows: “Nestled under the railway arches in Manchester’s Green Quarter is a restaurant whose name is (almost) the English translation of the word ‘spätzle’ – which gives some clue as to the style of food on offer here.
“The dumplings and assorted pasta dishes are all made in-house and include excellent pierogi. The focus on Eastern Europe carries through to the wine list, which has a leaning towards Polish wines.”
A welcome new addition, if you haven’t yet visited then we recommend you book in swiftly. No doubt the news of its conclusion in the Michelin Guide will send reservations filling up pretty sharpish.
Feature image – Google Maps
New DNA evidence could clear ‘innocent’ man who spent 17 years in prison for Salford rape
A man who spent 17 years in prison for a rape he has continued to claim he did not commit has now been granted a fresh appeal after DNA was linked to an alternative suspect.
57-year-old Andrew Malkinson from Grimsby was convicted by a jury verdict of 10-2 of strangling and raping a woman in Little Hulton in Salford back in 2003, and was jailed for life following a trial at Manchester Crown Court in February 2004.
The victim – who had been walking home alone in the early hours of 19 July 2003 – was sexually assaulted after being throttled until the point of unconsciousness, and also suffered a broken neck and a fractured cheekbone during the attack.
There was no DNA or other forensic evidence linking Mr Malkinson to the crime at the time, and the prosecution case relied mainly on identification evidence from eyewitnesses.
This is why he has always maintained his innocence and insisted it was a case of mistaken identity.
Mr Malkinson had twice been refused an appeal in the past after applying for his case to be reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) – which is the body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriages of justice – but after being released on license from prison back in 2020, scientific techniques have advanced, and this has potentially lead to some new evidence.
The legal team at the charity APPEAL was able to commission new DNA testing that revealed the presence of unknown male DNA in samples taken from the victim and her clothing, and this “breakthrough” has therefore cast doubt on Mr Malkinson’s conviction.
APPEAL Director Emily Bolton said “the battle for justice is not yet over”, adding that the CCRC “will now form its own view of the fresh evidence and we hope they will agree that Andy’s conviction cannot now be regarded as safe.”
Mr Malkinson says he “finally has the chance to prove his innocence”.
“I am innocent,” Mr Malkinson questioned in a statement provided by his legal representatives.
“Finally, I have the chance to prove it thanks to the perseverance of my legal team at APPEAL. I only have one life and so far 20 years of it has been stolen from me. Yesterday I turned 57 years old. How much longer will it take?”
As well as the case having being referred back to the CCRC this week, in light of new information, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed last month that it had arrested a 48-year-old man from Exeter on suspicion of rape, but he has since been released under investigation.
Addressing Mr Malkinson’s case, CCRC chairwoman Helen Pitcher said: “The new results raise concerns about the safety of these serious convictions.
“It is now for the Court of Appeal to decide whether they should be quashed.
“New evidence can come to light years after a conviction, and in the ever-changing world of forensic science, it is crucial an independent body can undertake these enquiries and send cases of concern back to court.
“Following Mr Malkinson’s application, we used our special powers and expertise to re-examine this case, instructing experts to undertake state-of-the-art DNA testing.”