BREAKING NEWS….A MAN found unconscious near a Belfast leisure centre has died in hospital on Monday morning.
Jimmy Owens had been on a life support machine after he was discovered on Sunday morning close to the Shankill Leisure Centre in west Belfast.
Detectives at first believed Mr Owens was either hit by a car or suffered a serious assault.
But they now believe there is nothing suspicious about his death.
The 34-year-old victim, from Crimea Street off the Shankill Road, had been fighting for his life in hospital with his family keeping a beside vigil.
“Doctors had been preparing the family for the worst in case Jimmy didn’t make it through,” said a source on the Shankill.
“Sadly, Jimmy died on Monday morning. People are shocked by what has happened to him.”
It is understood Mr Owens has a partner and a number of children, one of which died recently.
The Owens family is well known on the Shankill.
Some family members work as trainers in the local Hammer Boxing Club.
Mr Owens was discovered close to Shankill Leisure Centre in west Belfast at around 7.30am.
Police say he sustained head and face injuries and he may have lain in the street for some hours.
He was taken to hospital where he is in a serious condition.
A PSNI spokesperson added: “The man has been indentified and his family are with him.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Tennent Street police station on 0845 600 8000.
Shankill DUP Councillor Brian Kingston has echoed police calls for anyone with information to come forward.
He said: “It is deeply concerning that this man was found lying unconscious in the street with serious head and face injuries.
“This is the last thing that anyone wants to see happening in their community.”