Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a man who was stabbed to death on a nightclub dancefloor in Birmingham.
Cody Fisher, 23, who was a non-league footballer and school sports coach, was attacked at The Crane nightclub, just before midnight on Boxing Day.
Paying tribute, his family said his death had “broken our hearts”.
A 22-year-old man was arrested in Birmingham just after midnight. A second man, 21, was arrested in London.
The incident happened just before 23:45 GMT at the club, on Adderley Street, Digbeth, where police believe he was approached by a group before being stabbed.
West Midlands Police said it had been pleased with the public response and had received photos and statements which were helping the investigation.
Mr Fisher played left-back for clubs including Bromsgrove Sporting, Stourbridge and Stratford Town.
Walsall Football Club, where Mr Fisher had previously played, held a minute’s silence before youth team training on Wednesday.
Before training this morning our U18, U16 and U15 players held a minutes silence as a mark of respect for former scholar Cody Fisher following the tragic events on boxing day.#RIP Cody pic.twitter.com/5MdYuOWsc1
— Walsall FC Academy (@WFC_Academy) December 28, 2022
Woodrow First School, where Mr Fisher coached children, said everyone had been left devastated over the tragic and needless death of the “bright, friendly and talented young man”.
“Many of the children at school know Cody as their sports coach and have enjoyed working with him,” it tweeted.
Tributes will be held at a match against Stratford on 2 January, Bromsgrove Sporting chairman Mike Burke said.
He added the event would be an opportunity to “show our love and respect to him on that day”.
“There’s nothing we can say can make the family feel any better, but we can just send our thoughts out to them at this really sad time,” Mr Burke said.
Steve Beech, who worked at Stourbridge when Mr Fisher signed for the team, said he had watched as tributes had “flooded in” for the player.
The non-league world in the West Midlands was “one big family” he said, adding that he and others had been left “devastated” at the news.
Describing him as a “special player”, former Stratford Town manager Dean Holdsworth said it was “very difficult to comprehend that this sort of news could come out about one of your friends, one of your family and one of your players on what seems like a normal party evening”.
Other clubs, including Birmingham City, paid their own tributes.
It tweeted: “The thoughts of everyone at Blues are with Cody Fisher’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time.”
Cody had been in the Birmingham City FC Academy and was also a trainee with Walsall, according to social media and local media posts.
Stratford-on-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi tweeted he had contacted the chairman of Stratford Town to offer any help he could.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Cody’s family and the Team in Stratford,” the cabinet minister said.
“Those committing such mindless violence/crimes must be brought to justice.”
Det Ch Insp Ian Ingram, from West Midlands Police, said “good progress” was being made in the investigation.
“We’ve been really pleased with the response from the public and have already had a number of witness accounts and images sent through, which will help with our investigation.”
He continued: “Cody’s family and friends are devastated by what happened, and we’ll continue to work to bring them answers.
“It’s vital that we hear from everybody who saw any part of what happened that night – no matter how insignificant they think it might be.”
The force said hundreds of people were in the nightclub at the time and that it had set up a dedicated website where images and footage from the night could be uploaded.
In a statement, the venue said its staff were “deeply shocked and saddened” by the incident and were working closely with investigators.