The family of a Wythenshawe grandad who died more than a year after being attacked outside a nightclub in Benidorm have desperately appealed for help in bringing his killer to justice.
Mike Rydings, 48, died after being set upon in the Spanish resort while on holiday with a group of friends.
After being brought home he spent 13 months in Salford Royal, only able to communicate through blinking.
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His devastated family said that Mike was often ‘completely unaware’ of where he was, or who his loved ones were before he died.
Mike, a construction worker and huge Manchester United fan, had gone on holiday with friends to celebrate a birthday and watch the 2018 World Cup together.
In the early hours of June 23, 2018, following an altercation Mike was attacked by a man who was part of a larger gang of five or six men.
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Spanish police and GMP launched an investigation, but Mike’s killer has not been brought to justice.
Now, ahead of an inquiry into his death, his family have made an emotional appeal for help.
“Someone somewhere knows who this person is,” Mike’s daughter, Hayley Barker, and sister, Nikki Howard, said in a joint statement.
“Were you with him? Is he your friend or partner?
“All Mike’s family and friends want is some justice for him. The person who did this is continuing to live a full life, but he could repeat this attack on a member of your family and change your life forever!
“We as a family have a huge hole in it which can and never will be filled.
“Mike has missed out on so much already and will continue to do so which we cannot change. But we can change the fact that he died without justice.
“Please, please let the police know if you have any information at all, no matter how small you think it may be, it takes more than one piece to complete a jigsaw.”
GMP have released a picture of Mike wearing a red T-shirt, which officers believe he may have been wearing on the night he was attacked.
A description of his suspected attacker has also been released.
The man is described as being white, aged in his 20s or 30s, with a larger than average build, 5ft 7ins to 6ft and was possibly wearing camouflage clothing.
GMP officers have spoken to more than a dozen English tourists who were in the resort that night.
One line of inquiry is that the group involved in the altercation were also British. The attack is thought to have occurred outside the Hipodromo bar on Benidorm Square.
Detective Inspector Nicola McCulloch, of the force’s Major Incident Team, said: “While the murder investigation in Spain hasn’t been successful, we continue to be determined to do whatever possible to get the answers Mike’s loved ones crave for his upcoming inquest.”
In their statement, Ms Barker and Ms Howard told of the ‘nightmare’ they lived following the attack.
“Mike spent 13 months in Salford Royal Hospital on the Critical Care Unit where he was unable to speak or move,” they said.
“Only his eyes were his very limited communication via blinking although most of the time his injury was so extreme that very often Mike was completely unaware of where he was, who his family were and more importantly, who he was!
“At the age of 47-years-old, a father and a grandfather, his life had changed forever relying on every single medical resource available in order for him to survive, unable to breathe unaided, unable to tell you how he was feeling, unable to even hold your hand!
“And it happened due to one vicious incident, in an instant but this nightmare didn’t end there.
“After extensive medical intervention, family daily visits and praying that Mike would recover and be able to live the rest of his life, it was cut short.
“His condition was never going to improve; his quality of life was so limited that the kindest but incredibly heart-breaking decision was to let him go.
“On Sunday 11 August 2019 Mike took his last breath and passed away at the age of 48-years-old – leaving his family totally devastated and his friends in despair. How could a 50th celebration end in such a tragic way?
“Mike was a father, grandfather, son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend to many. Mike was full of energy, the life and soul of the party; a practical joker, generous to a fault, enjoying all aspects of life and his beloved Manchester United.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 6777 quoting Operation Thurston, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.