TRIBUTE was paid to Cody Fisher as Stratford Town FC returned to the pitch at the weekend.
It was the club’s first match since their 23 year-old defender was stabbed to death on the dancefloor of The Crane nightclub in Birmingham on Boxing Day.
And prior to kick off against Kings Langley there was a minute’s silence and the retiring of Cody’s no. 23 shirt, followed by the halting of play for a minute’s applause in the 23rd minute of the match.
Youngsters from St Gregory’s School in Stratford, where Cody worked as a sports coach, formed a guard of honour for the players as they came out at the Arden Garages Stadium.
Former professional player and ex-Premier League manager Ian Holloway also attended an emotional ceremony last week to mark the retiring of Cody’s shirt at the club’s Knights Lane ground. The shirt was also blessed by the Revered Jon Martin.
And Stratford Town are also looking to establish a long term memorial to Cody through the launch of the Cody Fisher Community Fund, to help youngsters become qualified coaches and referees.
Cody, from Studley, had played left-back for a number of non league sides in the midlands. Injury had prevented him turning out for Stratford this season.
Cody’s mum Tracey Fisher has also paid tribute to her son and thanked Stratford Town FC..
She said: “I’m totally overwhelmed and so grateful to Jed (McCrory – Stratford Town chairman) and the club. I’m just so proud that Cody was such an inspiration to so many people. He was my best friend that I’ve lost so soon. He was just amazing.
“He was injured and due to have surgery this month so generally he would always have been playing football on Boxing Day and we would all have been there watching him so that makes it worse.
“He was the purest soul and my absolute angel. Football was his life, he worked so hard but he partied hard, that was his release with his friends. His work ethic was second to none and he was just so talented.
“He worked at quite a few schools and ran holiday camps for the kids. For him to have inspired so many children at such a young age is for me, as his mother, so special. I cannot put it into words.”
More than 20,000 have to date also signed a petition aimed at making going out safer following Cody’s death.
The petition Cody’s Law seeks to make metal detectors and bleed kits a lawful requirement for clubs and event venues.
Visit www.change.org/p/cody-s-law-make-metal-detectors-and-bleed-kits-law-for-clubs-and-events to sign the petition.
* Two men, Kami Carpenter, 21, and Remy Gordon, 22, both from Birmingham, have been charged with Cody’s murder and will stand trial in July.
They have been charged with murder and affray and will remain in custody until March 17 when they will enter a plea.
A post-mortem examination confirmed school sports coach Cody died of a stab wound.
The Digbeth nightclub had its licence suspended following Cody’s death.