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BALLOONS FLY TO MARK BIRTHDAY OF KNIFED MAN.

Byline: Matt Lloyd STAFF REPORTER

DEVASTATED family and friends of a road safety worker have gathered at the spot he was stabbed to death in Chelmsley Wood to mark what would have been his 25th birthday.

Lance Gregory was stabbed outside a row of shops in Craig Croft at 5am on Sunday as he celebrated the upcoming anniversary.

And as tributes continued to pour in on Facebook yesterday close family and friends released balloons and Chinese lanterns at the spot the 24-year-old from Smiths Wood, Solihull, lost his life.

A tribute page set up for Lance, who worked in road safety at Highway Traffic Management in Gravelly Hill, had been 'liked' by 2,588 people, many of whom wished him a happy birthday yesterday.

One message, from Sammy Robbie said: "R.I.P Lance happy birthday mate hope ur (sic) having a brandy with the angels."

Another, from Claire Boyle, said: "Happy birthday lance bet ya got the brandys flowing nicely up there mate hats down hoodz up fly high with the Angels x."

Harriet Niccola Valentina DelVecchio added: "Crying my eyes out reading all Lance's birthday wishes.

"It's the saddest thing I have ever seen in my life. Good night, god bless and happy birthday. You obviously touched many hearts." Zoe X Anne said: "Happy birthday mate, hope your having a party up there gone to soon xx."

While Sara Bennett said: "Happy birthday lance I know u be up there with a big bottle of brandy in ur hand ill have a large one for u later mate x."

Paramedics took Lance to Heartlands Hospital, in Bordesley Green, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Cousin Billy Sabin, aged 37, said Lance's birthday had made the loss even more stinging for his grieving relatives.

He said: "Lance was a friendly, happy-go-lucky guy who was bubbly and got on with everybody. "His mum, dad, brother and sister are devastated."

Carlton Pollock, aged 24, of Moorend Avenue, Chelmsley Wood, appeared before Birmingham Crown Court yesterday charged with murder.

He was remanded in custody to a later date.

CAPTION(S):

Stabbed to death: Lance Gregory.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 15, 2012
Words:354
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