Sheffield man murdered on way home from work

Alleged murder victim Simon Holdsworth, aged 36, from Hackenthorpe.
Alleged murder victim Simon Holdsworth, aged 36, from Hackenthorpe.
Have your say

This is the first picture of much-loved family man Simon Holdsworth, brutally murdered as he made his way home from work in Sheffield.

The 36-year-old paint sprayer had got the bus home from Intake as usual on Monday night - but his family was left devastated when he never made it to his front door.

His beaten body was eventually found at 6.30am on Tuesday, by a passer-by in a field next to The Hogshead pub on Delves Road.

It is believed he had been attacked with a weapon, and died of severe head injuries.

Temporary Det Supt Phil Etheridge, who is leading the investigation, said: “This was a horrendous attack on a much-loved and popular man.

“Clearly, it is absolutely vital we understand what happened to Mr Holdsworth after he left work on Monday night and attempted to make his way home.”

Mr Holdsworth, of Westfield Avenue, Hackenthorpe, worked as a paint sprayer in Intake and was last seen wearing his paint-spattered grey jogging bottoms.

The Sheffield Wednesday fan was a keen angler, and in his spare time ran an online business selling fishing tackle and bait.

Chief Supt David Hartley, who is head of police in the Sheffield district, said it was tragic Mr Holdsworth’s family will be spending this Christmas, and all those to come, without him.

“This crime is heartwrenching but when it does occur just before Christmas you really can’t imagine the grief the family will be going through,” he said.

He added police teams are working closely with the local community, including with Rainbow Forge School, to reassure the public.

He said: “I think it’s likely to be a one-off crime. You just need to have common sense and vigilance, and I hope we get a quick breakthrough and take this person quickly to justice.

“Sheffield is a safe place - it’s the safest core city - and crime is reducing, but that’s no comfort to the people that are grieving or the people that have experienced the crime in this community.

“Crime in this area is unheard of. There’s someone who will have critical information for this inquiry. I would ask them to think of the family and the impact of this crime.”

A cordon remains in place around The Hogshead pub and the whole of the neighbouring field, which is behind Rainbow Forge School.

Det Supt Etheridge said detectives have been combing the area for discarded property or even a murder weapon as they continue to piece together what happened.

After finishing work in Intake at about 10.55pm on Monday, it is believed Mr Holdsworth caught the 120 First bus at 11pm from a stop close to The Noah’s Ark pub on Mansfield Road.

Usually he would have got off about 10 minutes later at a stop near The Hogshead on Birley Spa Lane.

However despite his home being just a short walk from the bus stop, he never arrived.

Det Supt Etheridge said: “Were you on the 120 bus that night? Did you see Mr Holdsworth on the bus? Or did you see him get off?

“Where he would have got off the bus is a busy and well populated area, surrounded by houses where people would have been watching television or perhaps getting ready for bed.

“Even if you didn’t see anything that night, perhaps you may have heard raised voices, shouting, or more vehicle movements than usual in the area of Birley Spa Lane.

“If you have any information, however apparently insignificant, I would urge you to contact South Yorkshire Police quoting incident number 149 of December 17.”

Mr Holdsworth was about 5ft 9ins tall and of slim to medium build.

He had short, dark hair and wore glasses. He was last seen wearing paint-spattered grey jogging bottoms, white Adidas trainers and a dark blue one-piece bodywarmer, with lighter blue sleeves and a hood.