Detectives took to the streets of East Finchley in an attempt to solve a murder case dating back almost four decades.

The lifeless body of Anthony Littler was found in an alleyway opposite the Tube station just after midnight on May 1, 1984.

He was alone and returning home from a night out in London when he was attacked.

It is suspected that the 45-year-old, who lived about 15 minutes' walk away in Leslie Road, sustained his injuries after being hit over the head with a blunt object.

Despite an investigation in the immediate aftermath of his death – as well as subsequent police appeals in 1993 and 2013 – Mr Littler’s attackers have never been identified.

In the decades since, the path through fields where his body was found has partially vanished beneath an office block.

But police now hope that a media and leaflet campaign outside East Finchley Tube station earlier today (December 5) will help jog the memories of potential witnesses.

Times Series: Anthony Littler was murdered in an alleyway outside East Finchley Tube station in 1984

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Neil John urged anyone who may know something to come forward, regardless of how "small or insignificant” they think their piece of information to be.

He said: “We have got very little to work on but it’s inconceivable in my mind that somebody, somewhere will [not] know about that unsolved murder.”

DCI John - who has been working on the case for more than four years - said officers are especially keen to speak to two witnesses that are yet to speak to police.

Two days before Mr Littler’s murder, a man told the shopkeeper of Galleon Wine Stores, an off-licence opposite the station, that he had been attacked in the same spot.

The man, who had severe facial injuries and a black eye, claimed he had been assaulted by two youths with a baseball bat.

Police never traced the victim, but he was described as having short brown hair, being of medium build and around six feet tall.

DCI John said that it “remains to be seen” if the incident is linked to Mr Littler’s murder but that the similarities between the two cases makes it a “credible” line of enquiry.

The second witness yet to be identified is the person who made the original emergency call at the time of the murder.  

Detectives believe the call was made from a public phone box near East Finchley station, but the caller did not leave their name or any other details so was never traced.

DCI John acknowledged that some people’s memories will have “diminished” over the decades since Mr Littler’s murder.

Times Series: The alleyway as it was in 1984

In 1984, the alleyway where the 45-year-old was found ran from the station through fields.

Today it begins behind the back of a large building containing McDonald’s offices, and is flanked by houses on both sides.

Times Series: The alleyway where Anthony Littler was found used to run through what are now McDonald's offices

But DCI John said that the length of time that has passed “has not diminished our efforts to get justice for Anthony and his family”, reiterating that “no piece of information will be considered too small”.

Police say Mr Littler was single and had no children at the time of his murder.

His cousin Tricia McClure has backed the renewed police appeal, claiming that while justice would not bring Mr Littler back, it would give the family “some closure”.

She said: “Anthony was a lovely, kind and gentle man who wouldn’t have hurt anyone. It is heart-breaking to our family that this happened to him.

 “After all this time, we hope this new investigation puts those responsible behind bars.”

Anyone with information should contact 0208 358 0100 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.