THE heartbroken family of murdered Irish pensioner Tommy Ward have issued a fresh appeal for information, 12 months on from his death after he was brutally attacked.
Police have also issued new CCTV footage which they hope will help bring their investigation to a close.
Scroll down to watch the CCTV footage
Mr Ward was viciously assaulted at his home of over 30 years in Maltby, South Yorkshire on September 30, 2015.
He never recovered and died in hospital one year ago today on February 23, almost five months after he received a number of appalling injuries during a terrifying ordeal.
The 80-year-old was left with a broken jaw and a fractured skull, as well as broken ribs and a finger hanging off by its tendons.
A six-hour operation was required to treat his head injury and his finger had to be amputated.
As well as his injuries, £30,000 of Mr Ward’s life savings were stolen in a safe, which was later found empty eight miles from Mr Ward’s home on a canal bank in Rotherham.
Mr Ward’s family has continued to live with the mental anguish of knowing that someone left him for dead in his own home after subjecting him to a savage beating.
They remember him as a fun-loving, proud Irishman who was regularly seen in his local pub, The Manor, wearing Irish T-shirts and hats.
“He was very proud of his Irishness. He loved Ireland and he always listened to Irish music” said Tommy’s daughter Jackie Perry, 53.
“Every chance he got he’d travel over. He always bought The Irish Post as well, every Wednesday, and we read it to him in hospital.”
Former soldier Mr Ward used some of his savings to bring his children on a trip to Ireland with him after the death of his wife six years ago.
What remained of his savings were stolen in the attack and his family say that the people who know what happened shouldn’t be scared to speak up.
“To anyone who might know anything we say please come forward. Please just find it in your hearts and put us out of our misery,” said Ms Perry.
“We really do need everyone’s help to understand why this happened to him.
“It’s just been completely devastating. He didn’t deserve this, he should have gone peacefully in his sleep.
“He was taken from us for no reason at all and it’s absolutely heart-breaking without him here.”
Mr Ward served in the British Army before later working in the nearby Maltby mines, and was enjoying his retirement by making regular trips to Ireland.
His roots in Ireland owe from his mother, who was from Connemara in Co. Galway where Mr Ward often visited.
The former soldier’s ashes were taken back to the South Yorkshire town of Maltby after his death and he was buried with his wife.
Three men, aged 23, 30 and 35, were arrested in August last year in connection with the murder investigation but were later released due to a lack of evidence.
Five additional people were arrested in connection with Tommy’s murder but have all since been released.
The community of Maltby has rallied round the family, with over £23,000 raised on Tommy's behalf, which has now been donated to several charities.
Sheffield Hospitals Charity, the PDSA, British Heart Foundation and Rotherham Hospice have all benefited.
South Yorkshire Police have issued a renewed public appeal for one year on after new CCTV emerged of a car travelling near to Mr Ward's home on the morning of the attack.
The new footage shows a Saab 93 drive past the ex-miner's property on two separate occassions less than an hour before the attack on the pensioner.
The car can be seen turning into Tommy’s road, driving by his home, performing a u-turn and staying in the area for 24 minutes.
It was later seen on CCTV turning back onto Grange Lane from Salisbury Road at 05:40.
DCI Vicky Short from South Yorkshire Police said: "We know that at 04:56 on the morning Mr Ward was attacked, there were no lights on at his property.
"However, at 05:58 the property can be seen lit up and Mr Ward was discovered by his carer 45 minutes later.
She added: "I believe strongly that the vehicle is connected to the attack."
“We still believe there are people out there who are yet to come forward and tell us what they know about the events of one year ago. I urge those people to get in touch and allow us to offer Tommy’s family some closure after a very painful and upsetting year.
The charity Crimestoppers continue to offer a £10,000 reward in connection to the police investigation."