Two suspects charged with the Boxing Day murder of footballer Cody Fisher have been remanded in custody at their first court hearing.
Kami Carpenter, 21, and Remy Gordon, 22, were charged on Saturday with killing Mr Fisher, who was stabbed on the dancefloor at the Crane nightclub in Digbeth, Birmingham.
The defendants, both from Birmingham, spoke only to confirm their personal details and enter not guilty pleas to a linked charge of affray during a four-minute hearing at the city’s Crown Court on Monday.
The case, heard by two magistrates, was one of several magistrates’ court cases switched to the nearby Crown Court because the lower court was closed.
Carpenter, of no fixed address, and Gordon, of Cofton Park Drive, Birmingham, were not asked to enter any plea to the murder charge.
Gordon appeared in the dock wearing a blue padded coat, while Carpenter was dressed in a dark suit and a white shirt with no tie.
Both defendants were ordered to re-appear before a Crown Court judge on Wednesday. A further hearing was set for January 30.
Mr Fisher, who played for Stratford Town FC, was approached by a group of people and stabbed at about 11.45pm while on a night out with friends.
The nightclub had its licence suspended for 28 days on Friday after accusations by police that there had been “serious management failings” at the venue on the night of the incident.
Officers recovered a knife from the scene, and a post-mortem examination confirmed that Mr Fisher, 23, died of a stab wound.
His girlfriend Jess Chatwin paid tribute to him with a message on Twitter the day after he died.
She wrote: “You didn’t deserve any of this. I’m so sorry this has happened to you my baby please come home. I love you forever Cody Fisher.”
A statement published by the police and attributed to Mr Fisher’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.”
Non-league club Bromsgrove Sporting also honoured the memory of its former player.
In a tweet, the club 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.”
Birmingham City and Hull City players observed a minute’s silence for Mr Fisher ahead of their Sky Bet Championship clash at St Andrew’s on Friday.