Five men have been arrested on suspicion of murdering football fan Simon Dobbin, who died five years after he was attacked on his way home from a game.
Cambridge United fan Mr Dobbin suffered permanent brain damage after making his way home from the game in Southend on 21 March 2015.
He cannot walk or talk and needs round-the-clock care.
Mr Dobbin died aged 48 on October 21, 2020 at his home in Mildenhall, Suffolk.
Medical tests showed a direct link between Mr Dobbin’s death and the injuries he sustained, Essex Police said.
The five suspects, aged 27, 30, 34, 39 and 45, were arrested Friday morning at addresses in the southern part of the county.
They are all in custody and will be questioned on suspicion of murder.
Detective chief detective Stephen Jennings, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crimes Bureau, who is leading the investigation, said: “The investigations into Simon’s death suggest a direct cause-and-effect link injuries he sustained in Southend on the day he was attacked in March 2015.
“As a result of those findings, we began treating Simon’s death as a homicide and a new investigation was launched.
“As part of that investigation, this morning we arrested five people on suspicion of murder.
“We are also talking to a number of people we are considering as witnesses to obtain their accounts.”