Four Sheffield men and a man from Rotherham have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
They were quizzed by detectives yesterday over the death of 33-year-old Karl Swift, from Rotherham, who died after he was found with serious head injuries while he was working away from home in Halesowen, in the West Midlands, last month.
Mr Swift, from Kimberworth, who worked as a height safety engineer for Aero Installations, had been to a pub after work and was found injured on the route he would have taken to walk back to his hotel.
Two South Yorkshire men, aged 23 and 58, were arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm at the time but West Midlands Police has now revealed that five more arrests have been made.
Two men aged 29 and two others aged 58 and 51, all from Sheffield, were held in police custody yesterday along with a 23-year-old from Rotherham.
Mr Swift, who had two sons, was well known in football circles, playing most recently for The Plough in Wingfield, close to where he went to school.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Paul Joyce, from West Midlands Police’s Homicide Team, said: “The arrests are a significant development in the investigation, but we are still keen to hear from anyone who was in the area on Thursday, September 8 into the early hours of Friday morning.
“We still believe there may have been an incident at the William Shenstone Wetherspoons pub in Halesowen prior to Mr Swift leaving."