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Battered church organist Alan Greaves ‘a gentle soul’

A church organist who died after being brutally attacked on his way to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve has been described as a “gentle soul”.

Father-of-four Alan Greaves (68), from Sheffield, was assaulted just yards from St Saviour's Church in High Green, South Yorkshire, where he had also been a lay preacher.

He was discovered by a pizza delivery man and taken to hospital but died from his injuries.

Police are treating his death as murder and said the motive for the attack is currently unclear.

Canon Simon Bessant, from St Saviour's Church, who worked closely with Mr Greaves and his wife Maureen, a church community worker, said: “He was a gentle soul. He wasn't foolish — he would have handled the situation as best as anyone would but we don't know what he encountered.”

Mr Bessant said Mr Greaves' wife was not seeking vengeance but did want justice.

Det Supt Matt Fenwick, of South Yorkshire Police, said the motive was unknown and, based on the injuries he suffered, it was likely that a weapon was used.

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