John Grainger, 32, was found by fire crews yesterday on a verge opposite Gala Casino in Wellington Street. His head was found nearby.

Post-mortem tests have revealed that he was shot and also suffered a “blunt force” injury to the head.

Two men, aged 29 and 31, are being held on suspicion of murder. They were arrested prior to the discovery of Grainger on suspicion of possessing shotgun cartridges. They were later rearrested.

Supt Pete Matthews from Greater Manchester Police said the force had “a team of dedicated detectives who are working hard to establish the exact circumstances surrounding John’s death, so we can provide his family with some much-needed answers”.

The crime scene in the town centre, near Stockport Magistrates’ Court, was cordoned off as forensics officers scoured the area. Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 9755 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.