A “DEDICATED family man” murdered on his way home from work in Sheffield is unlikely to have been the victim of a “random attack by a complete stranger”, detectives say.
South Yorkshire Police is today urging friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances of 36-year-old Simon Holdsworth to get in touch, as they seek to establish the fullest possible picture of his life.
His body was discovered in a field near his home in Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, on December 17, and police believe he may have been attacked with a blunt object.
Mr Holdsworth had been working extra hours to buy presents for his fiancée and his step-son Tiarnan, who turned four on Christmas Eve. The keen Sheffield Wednesday fan was due to marry his partner next year and was trying to save money for their honeymoon
Temporary Detective Superintendent Phil Etheridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have already appealed to those who may have seen anything suspicious in the Birley Spa Lane area of Sheffield, or those who travelled on the bus with Simon as he made his final journey back to Hackenthorpe, to get in touch with us.
“However, we are now widening that appeal in a bid to find out as much as we can about Simon’s life.
“We are keeping an open mind regarding a motive for this brutal murder. However, it remains the case that, while we cannot eliminate it totally, it is unlikely that this was a random attack carried out by a complete stranger.
“We are therefore seeking to discover who has done this to Simon, and why.
“In order to do this, we need to speak to all those who knew him in all spheres of his life, whether this be through work, his love of fishing, his following of Sheffield Wednesday or his personal life.”
The body of Mr Holdsworth, from Hackenthorpe, was discovered in a field off Birley Spa Lane, at about 6.30am on Tuesday 17 December 2013.
The previous night, he had finished work at FBS Prestige in Intake, where he worked as a sprayer, at 10.55pm.
A colleague gave him a lift from their workplace to a bus stop in Mansfield Road, close to the Noah’s Ark pub, where he got on the number 120 First Bus shortly after 11pm.
He got off that bus at his usual stop, close to the Hogs Head pub, around 10 minutes later.
However, he never made it home that night. His body was found by a member of the public the following morning.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had died from head injuries, which had possibly been inflicted with a blunt object.
T/Det Supt Etheridge added: “We know a lot about Simon’s life. We know he was due to get married next summer and he was looking forward to the wedding, having booked the time off work for his honeymoon on the day he died.
“We also know he worked hard both as a sprayer and for himself, as he was keen to set up his own fishing tackle business.
“He would spend most weekends following Sheffield Wednesday home and away, and was a season ticket holder at Hillsborough.
“However, I would still appeal to all those who were part of Simon’s world to call us. The information they hold, however apparently insignificant, could be the key to finding whoever has done this to him.”
Witnesses should call 101, quoting incident number 149 of 17 December 2013. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.