Former Wales international Nathan Brew has spoken publicly for the first time about the murder of his brother in an unprovoked attack outside a nightclub.

Matthew Thomas was hit only once by Daniel Pickering during an attack in Neath in 2022. You can read the court details here.

In a new S4C programme to be aired on Sunday night, Brew opens up about the moment doctors revealed that Matthew, who was 47, would not make it through the night - with the family encouraged to say their goodbyes.

“We’re much closer as a family after what happened to Matthew, because a tragedy like this brings you together," said Nathan.

“We got a call at 1 o’clock in the morning to say that all his vitals had changed, and we should go to the hospital. We went straight there – that was difficult. We all went as a family. The consultant said ‘I’m really sorry Matthew is going to die – he will die before the morning, and this is your chance to go in and say your goodbyes'.

“I think I failed to accept the fact looking back. I thought ‘what’s this going to achieve?’ but I snapped out of it. I went in to see Matthew – just the two of us, and I apologised to him that we weren’t as close as we were when I was growing up.

“I remember looking at his face. There was a little cut on it but otherwise he looked fine. I felt slightly confused, thinking ‘he looks ok, so why do they say he’s not likely to get through it?’."

The programme - Nathan Brew: Un Eiliad Un Ergyd (One Second One Punch) - will air on S4C on Sunday 24 March at 9pm, while it will also be available on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.

It will see former Dragons and Scarlets centre Nathan, along with his sisters Rachel Brew and Kath Thomas, share the story of Matthew's death and the impact it had on their family.

34-year-old Daniel Pickering had been drinking alcohol all day and had taken over £100 worth of cocaine before he attacked Matthew Thomas.

Matthew Thomas died in hospital after being attacked by Daniel Pickering outside The Arch bar in Neath town centre
Matthew Thomas died in hospital after being attacked by Daniel Pickering outside The Arch bar in Neath town centre

Pickering was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years behind bars, with police describing the attack as unprovoked and an example of how excessive drinking and drug taking can trigger violent behaviour.

“He had a totally merciless look on his face. No remorse at all," said Nathan about seeing Pickering in court.

“To hear Daniel Pickering’s story – that he had done something similar before (although not to the same extent) made us all quite angry, not just at Daniel Pickering but at the system, because he should never have been out.”

Over the last three years, one in ten murders and manslaughters recorded in Wales were caused by a single punch. The programme will follow South Wales Police detectives as they attempt to tackle the problem of one punch deaths, with three other cases from Wales over the course of the year also told in the programme.

“Usually, it’s men in their twenties and thirties that go out and drink too much and take drugs that offend. When the two things mix, people react differently," said DS Neil Jones, South Wales Police.

“Unfortunately, a number of people die every year as a result of a one punch attack. During Covid, there were fewer instances; the pubs weren’t open; people didn’t go out as much, but the attacks have increased once again.

“In that one moment, people’s worlds fall apart. It creates a lot of work for the police, but it’s the effect on the victim’s family which is heart-breaking. It’s sad to see a family’s reaction to something so pointless.”