A police officer was killed after he was battered unconscious in a savage attack outside a nightclub.
Tragic Pc Chris Findley, 33, was set-upon as he walked home from a night out outside the Divine Bar in Darlington Street, Wolverhampton, West Mids., at 4.30am on Monday.
He became embroiled in a row with a black man and two white women who had just left the club.
During a scuffle Pc Finley, who works in Smethwick for West Midlands Police, was punched and left unconscious in the road.
He was taken to hospital in critical condition with serious head injuries but died in hospital on Thursday night.
Detectives believe the suspects, who were all in their late teens or early 20s, had been drinking in Divine Bar for several hours before the attack.
West Midlands Police Detective Inspector Phil Asquith, said: “They got into a scuffle moments after leaving Divine Bar.
“I’d appeal for anyone who was in the club that night and may have seen them to contact police.
“Similarly I’m keen to hear from anyone who was driving along Darlington Street in the early hours of that morning, heading home after a night out or perhaps taxi drivers, as they may have witnessed it.
“At the time they may have written it off as a low-level disorder but it’s a very serious assault which has left one man dead.
“If anyone has any information that could assist the inquiry, who’s possibly heard someone since talking about the incident, I’d ask them to call us on the 101 number as their information could prove vital.”
An 18-year-old man and two women have been arrested by police and bailed until a date next month pending further enquiries.
Police bosses paid tribute to the “hard-working” policeman. They described him as a “selfless and humble man” who had worked at West Midlands Police for nine years patrolling the Sandwell area.
Chief Inspector Paul Betts said yesterday: “It is with great sadness that friends and colleagues mourn the passing of PC Findley who died shortly before 11pm yesterday.
“Chris, a 33-year-old single man, joined West Midlands Police in 2003 and completed all his police service in Sandwell.
“The majority of his time with the force was spent serving the communities of Smethwick as a valued member of the Neighbourhood Police Team.
“More recently he was part of a dedicated, proactive team delivering targeted policing to priority areas.
“He is fondly described by his colleagues as a selfless and humble man, always watching out for those in need of cheering up, which he achieved through his warm, infectious personality and sense of humour.
“Chris was a proactive, hard-working officer who was a credit to the service and the communities of Sandwell.
“Chris will be sadly missed by all that knew him and our thoughts and condolences go out to his close friends and family at this difficult time.”
Tributes to the popular bobby flooded into social networking sites from devastated friends and colleagues.
Stu Fitzgerald wrote on a Facebook page set up in his honour: “Another good man has been lost at the hands of the scum we endeavour to protect all good people from… Taken from us all too soon, RIP PC Chris Findley.”
While fellow officer David Smith added: “R.I.P. Chris Findley..a mate, fellow copper, raconteur, all round good guy and purveyor of fine ales. Now polish your boots, tighten your belt, put your hat on and book on duty….your new beat awaits to patrol with the big man uptop.”
Bryony Hodgkinson-Jeffreys said: “Chris findley you died a hero. You are an amazing man i will never forget you. A piece of me is missing and i will see you in the next lifetime love you with all my heart. Xxxxx”
Liam Hemmings added: “I’ve just done the hardest thing of my life and watched a friend a brother pass away and there’s nothing I could do the great Chris Findley has gone to a better place.”