AN inquest into the death of a former Chippenham rugby player murdered in Bristol nearly five years ago will be held next Friday.

Evan Jones, 46, who had moved from Chippenham to St Pauls, Bristol, was kicked and punched to death in a vicious attack in the Stokes Croft area of Bristol on March 13, 2002.

Despite a national TV appeal on Crimewatch and the offer of a £5,000 award, his killer has never been found.

His inquest will take place in Flax Bourton coroner's court, near Bristol, at 11.30am on Friday.

Avon and Somerset Police said although the case remains unsolved it is still open pending further investigation or lines of inquiry.

A spokesman said: "Nobody has ever been charged or convicted in connection with the murder of Evan Jones despite a full and thorough investigation carried out by Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

"The case remains open and has not been closed.

"While there may not be any officers currently working on the investigation, if any new information came to light it would be fully investigated."

Mr Jones, who grew up in Corsham, played rugby for Chippenham in the 1970s and 1980s and was known to his friends by his middle name, John.

Club secretary Stuart Murrow remembered Mr Jones from when he played in the back row for the club.

"When he left the area he lost contact with the club members but it was a shock to hear he had been killed," he said.

"I didn't realise they hadn't found who did it but I'm a bit surprised they never caught anyone," he said.

At the time of his murder his ex-wife Linda and his two daughters Hannah and Naomi, all from Chippenham, spoke of their shock and distress and appeared on television in an emotional appeal to find the killer.

Mr Jones had not had much contact with his daughters while they were growing up but had started to rebuild his relationship with them.

On the night of his murder Mr Jones had been for a drink in the Beaufort pub, in York Road, Stokes Croft and left at about 10pm.

A fight broke out on the street outside a block of flats and Mr Jones was found unconscious on the pavement by police at 10.50pm.

He was taken to hospital but died later.

At the time police said there was a strong possibility more than one person was responsible for his death.

Mr Jones worked as a volunteer for the Salvation Army in Bristol and worked with homeless people and those with drug problems.

His family and friends described him as friendly and outgoing and a quiet, helpful man.