The sister of a 37-year-old who died after being found seriously injured in a South Norwood alley has said she believes he was murdered. 

Michael Hunt died in hospital on Saturday after being reportedly found naked in a skip in Station Road at about 7am. 

He was still alive when found but died five hours later at Kings College Hospital. 

His sister Georgina, 34, was too upset to speak this morning but told the Croydon Guardian: "They murdered him basically."

A shocked family friend, who asked not to be named, said Mr Hunt "wasn't a fighter" and had seemed happy on the night before his death. 

He said: "He wouldn't have fought to save his life

"He had a few drinks but he wasn't a fighter. I don't know why somebody would have done that to him.

"To do that to him is degrading.

"I was with him that day and in the night before it happened and he seemed happy and did not seem like he had any problems with anyone.

"His sister called me at about 9 o' clock in the morning and it is such a shock."

The shop owner who found Mr Hunt's body today spoke of his shock. 

The owner of Clocktower Fruit and Vegetables, who did not want to be named, said: "When someone came to collect the tables for the shop they saw somebody in the alleyway.

"I saw the body from far away because we were at the beginning of the alleyway and we did not go further before the police came.

"It's not nice to see that. It's something horrible, it's bad and we have never seen this before in this area.

"Every morning we have to go to the alleyway to get the tables out and when you see something like this it's pretty shocking.

"I saw the whole body on the skip, you could see it clearly and it was resting on the top of everything.

"There was blood on the floor so we knew something had happened."

Your Local Guardian: Forensics officers at the scene near Norwood Junction station on Saturday

Employees of a newsagent close to where Mr Hunt was found said they said saw naked flesh in the skip and blood on the ground nearby.

Kandiah Subodaran, owner of Counter News in Selhurst Road, said: "It was Saturday morning when the vegetable shop people went to open their shop and they took their trolley they found the body in the skip in the alleyway.

"We saw the body naked then they called the police.

"He was one of the best customers."

John O'Brien, a distribution agent for the newsagent, was arriving at work at 6.15am when he saw blood and a pair of new trainers by the bin

He said: "I thought it was odd to see the trainers and blood but I wasn't aware of the body.

"It's quite shocking and I feel sorry for the family."

Customers and staff at the Portmanor pub, where Mr Hunt was a regular, plan to raise a glass in tribute to him tonight. 

Bartender Jo, who did not supply a surname, said: "He was a lovely guy and we are all really sad about what's happened.

"I found out on Saturday morning and it was a shock, just an absolute shock that such a nice person had been killed. 

"When I last saw him he said he was coming back Monday for St Patrick's Day which is today.

"He was known as Irish Mick and it is going to be definitely marred without a doubt.

"We will raise a glass at some point today to him. He was a significant part of St Patrick's Day and was really looking forward to it."

Mr Hunt began supporting Crystal Palace after making friends in the Portmanor, a popular pub with Palace fans. 

Your Local Guardian: Murder detectives are investigating the death in South Norwood

South Norwood councillor Wayne Lawlor is shocked about what has happened in his ward.

Coun Lawlor said: "My first thoughts are it is absolutely devastating for the guy's family.

"He's the same age as me and to have his life cruelly cut at such a young age, it's got to be heartbreaking for his family. It's absolutely horrendous.

"You certainly don't expect that to happen here."

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Homicide and Serious Crime command are investigating Mr Hunt's death

Police were called at about 7am on Saturday to reports of a seriously injured man in alleyway by Station Road.

The man was taken by ambulance to King's College Hospital where he died about five hours later.

Formal identification of the man is expected to come after the results of the post-mortem examination are released.

He is believed to have lived locally and have moved to London from Ireland about six years ago looking for work.

Speaking on Saturday, Detective Chief Inspector Diane Tadway said: “The man was found on his own, severely injured, in an alleyway between an estate agents and a supermarket, in Station Road, South Norwood.

“We do not know. at this time, how he sustained his injuries nor have we established a motive for any attack on him.

"If you have any information that can help us understand how this man was hurt and who may have been involved, please contact the incident room on 020 8721 4005.”

Do you know more? Do you know Mr Hunt? Use the comments section below or email or contact @RobertFisk on Twitter.