A Rotherham murder victim was killed as he worked away from home to provide for his family.
Karl Swift, aged 33, from Kimberworth, was found with head injuries in Halesowen, in the West Midlands, in the early hours of Friday and died the following day.
Detectives believe there may have been an incident beforehand as he left a pub.
Two South Yorkshire men, aged 23 and 58, have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and bailed pending further inquiries.
Karl, who worked as a height safety engineer for Aero Installations, was due to be working in Birmingham on the day he was found injured.
He had been to a pub after work on Thursday and was found on the route he would have taken to walk back to his hotel.
Close friend Brett Ogden, 34, said Karl lived for his family, including his partner Teri and two sons Callum, 10 and Mason, nine.
"He loved his family and worked away to provide for them - he adored his boys," said Brett.
"Nobody can believe it, we don't want to believe it. Karl will be missed dearly by all his friends and family.
"He was such a nice guy - he would open a door for you, he would give up his seat on a bus for you. That's the kind of person he was. An absolute gent."
He said Karl, who was well known in non-league football circles, played for The Plough in Wingfield, close to where he went to school.
Team mates observed a one minute's silence last Sunday before their game.
"I have know him since we were six. We went all through school together, worked together, socialised together, I can't believe he's not here.
"We had such a lot of laughs and jokes over the years, it's those times I am remembering."
An online fundraising page set up to help Karl's family has raised over £3,000.
Greasbrough Youth Football Club, where Karl's sons play, has organised an auction for two tickets to the Manchester City v Bournemouth game this Saturday.
Visit Greasbrough Youth Football Club on Facebook.