The family of a young police constable murdered in the line of duty have paid tribute to him on the 40th anniversary of his death.

The killing of John Egerton, aged just 20 at the time, shocked the community when the young constable was stabbed to death in a factory yard in Farnworth on March 11, 1982.

Now, four decades on, his sisters Angela, Jacqui, Pamela and Margaret gathered at a commemorative event with officers at Scholey Street Police Station to remember their brother and pay tribute to his courage.

Sister Pamela said: “I think it's really important to us as a family, to our John’s memory so obviously it's very important for us as sisters, it’s just like yesterday that it happened."

On the night of his death, PC Egerton had been called to assist a colleague who had been seen climbing over a factory gate in Farnworth.

They split up to search the area and a short time later PC Egerton used his radio to say he had disturbed someone and was later found with fatal stab wounds

PC Egerton’s murderer was jailed for life and released in 2000 after 18 years behind bars.

The John Egerton Trophy is now presented every year to officers who have shown bravery in the line of duty in the young constable’s memory, while a plaque bearing his name was unveiled on Egerton Street, Farnworth in 2012 to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

This year a minute silence was held at 10am and flags were flown at half-mast at the Manchester Road Station in tribute to the fallen officer.

Speaking at Friday’s event, district commander Superintendent Stuart Ellison said: “What we wanted to do was commemorate it with the family and commemorate the occasion.

“So we’ve invited John’s immediate family, his four sisters and a niece are with us today and we’ve met in what we can the John Egerton Suite, which is our main conference room which is how we’re honouring John’s memory

“We’ve lowered our flags to half-mast today, we’ve had a minute silence at 10am just so the police district can quietly remember what John gave in the line of duty 40 years ago.”