A MURDER inquiry has been launched after a Macclesfield man died following an alleged assault in the town centre on Sunday (August 16).
Neil McDonald, 34, of Percy Vale Street, suffered serious head injuries outside the Old Millstone pub on Waters Green shortly before 1.30am. He was left in a critical condition - and died at Macclesfield Hospital at 11.10pm on Sunday.
Detectives from the Cheshire Police major incident team, led by DCI Jeff Elvey, launched a murder inquiry and are appealing for information from the public.
Tributes for Neil, who was unemployed, were led by brother Karl McDonald, 35, of Hovis Mill, Union Street, who told the Express yesterday (Tuesday, August 18): "I just feel numb - zombified. It has been so sudden and such a shock.
"We had become quite close in the past three years and probably done more than we had for the previous ten. One of my best memories of him was when we took a barge trip to Poynton last July. We would socialise and go out and he would get on with a lot of people.
"He had a good sense of humour and was a big United fan, and would get to the games when he could."
He had a troubled past in his 20s but had really turned that around in the past five years."
Step-dad Dave Rhodes, 62, added: "There's a lot of anger in the community at what's happened. Most people that knew him liked him. He was a bit of a Jack the lad but popular."
Paul Jones, 50, landlord of the Old Millstone, said: "It is a nightmare. He was a lovely lad. Him and his friends were dancing and having such a good time. He will be missed.
"Everyone was having such a good night and they said they going to get a kebab and that's when it happened. We never had trouble in the pub and for something like that to happen is just a horrible. We woke up in the morning and saw all the police tape and were told he was in a bad way."
Barmaid Chloe Worth, 19, added: "It's horrible. He was just having a
good time with some friends. He came in when I first came on the bar at about 8pm (Later) he said he was going home to get a kebab and that's when it happened.
"Everyone rushed out to help him. It's shocking for everyone to see that he had died."
Anyone in the Waters Green area in the early hours of Sunday who thinks they witnessed the incident, or anyone near the Old Millstone pub or Macclesfield Railway Station between midnight and 1.20am on Sunday, should call Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.