A DRINKER was stabbed to death following a row over a pub arm-wrestling challenge.

The victim, father-of-six Alan "Bally" Jones, was enjoying a regular Tuesday drink with some friends when he was challenged to wrestle, it is understood.

Witnesses said the approach sparked a heated argument, which spilled outside Hogan's Bar in Southwick, Sunderland.

His attacker pulled a knife and repeatedly stabbed Mr Jones before fleeing the scene. Last night he was still being hunted by police.

Police arrived at Hogan's to find Mr Jones suffering from multiple injuries.

He was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital by ambulance but doctors could not save him.

Mr Jones, of Ellis Road, in Southwick, who was in his 30s, had been with friends in other pubs in the area before heading to Hogan's.

His tight-knit family, including his children, partner and six brothers and sisters, are now coming to terms with the tragedy.

A police spokesman said officers were called to the bar, in Stoney Lane, at about 10pm.

He said: "On arrival, police found that a fight between two men had resulted in one of them being stabbed a number of times."

Detectives can be contacted at Gillbridge Police Station on 0191-454 7555.