Simon Holdsworth’s heartbroken family said he will be ‘forever in their hearts’ following his senseless killing just before Christmas as he was planning his wedding.
The 36-year-old had been preparing for an exciting new chapter in his life – getting married to partner Carleen McKeown the following summer as well as trying to get his new fishing business off the ground.
Simon, a diminutive figure at just 5ft 7ins tall and weighing just 11 stone, had been working extra shifts to pay for his wedding and honeymoon the following summer.
The keen Sheffield Wednesday fan had worked at FBS Prestige for 16 years and had been in a ‘bubbly and cheerful mood’ on what would turn out to be his last shift as he had just booked time off for the wedding and honeymoon.
He had been carrying a rucksack at the time of his murder, which contained a letter to Father Christmas from his stepson Tiarnan, who was turning four that Christmas Eve, along with notes about his forthcoming stag do and wedding.
In a statement read outside court by family liaison officer Detective Lisa Kramer following the verdict, the family said: “Our lives will never be the same again.
“We miss Simon every day and he will be forever in our hearts.”
Following his death in December 2013, Simon’s boss at FBS Paul Essex said Mr Holdsworth ‘was one of life’s grafters’ and his colleagues were ‘absolutely devastated’ by his violent death.
He said: “We haven’t just lost a colleague, we’ve lost a close friend. Simon was gentle, kind and loved by everyone.”