IT was a murder that left a Barrhead family devastated and shocked people across Scotland.

Now, 35 years after the brutal slaying of Philip Wong, police have made a dramatic new appeal for information that can help them catch his killers.

The Barrhead businessman was hacked to death by three contract killers armed with machetes on October 9, 1985.

Mr Wong, who ran the popular Lucky Star restaurant in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, had arrived in Scotland in 1958 and lived with English wife Josephine and their three children near Barrhead town centre.

He was attacked at the door of his Mercedes car in Rose Street, in the Gartnethill area of Glasgow, in the early hours of a Wednesday morning.

Matchsticks had been placed in the door lock by the killers to distract their victim and give them more time to carry out the murder.

Minutes later, they were in a car heading south on the nearby M8 motorway, their night’s work carried out with chilling efficiency.

It is believed they escaped to Birmingham or got a ferry to Northern Ireland.

Mr Wong, 48, had been heading home to Barrhead after taking part in the gambling game mahjong with some 20 friends.

At the time, he and his wife had lived in the town for a number of years and their children are believed to have gone to school locally.

Barrhead News: Detective Chief Inspector Suzanne ChowDetective Chief Inspector Suzanne Chow

This week marks the 35th anniversary of Mr Wong’s murder but Police Scotland insist they are still committed to bringing his killers to justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Suzanne Chow, of the Specialist Crime Division, said: “Behind every unresolved murder case are families who desperately want to know what happened to their loved one or who may have been responsible.

“Police Scotland’s Homicide Governance and Review Team keep these investigations under review, following new information or new lines of enquiry resulting from progress in investigatory technique, such as new forensic analysis which may help identify a killer or a cause.

“I would like to take this opportunity, as we approach the 35th anniversary of Mr Wong’s murder, to appeal to anyone with information that can assist the investigation to contact Police Scotland and enable us to catch those responsible and finally give closure to Mr Wong’s family.”

Back in 1985, Mr Wong was seen as the unofficial leader of Glasgow’s then 5,000-strong Chinese community.

Most lived in Gartnethill, which was known as the city’s Chinatown.

However, Mr Wong had chosen to settle in Barrhead to bring up his family.

It is believed he was murdered over his refusal to do a business deal with Triad group the Wo Shing Wo.

The group were said to want a share of his lucrative Chinese video rental business.

Mr Wong also ran Chinese restaurants in Edinburgh, Perth and Stirling.

His slaying led to one of the biggest and most complex homicide inquiries ever undertaken by police in Scotland.

More than 50 detectives were involved at one stage, with inquiries taking officers as far as Hong Kong.

A specialist south-east Asian intelligence desk was set up at the murder incident room at Stewart Street Police Office, in Glasgow, and detectives even found themselves learning Cantonese.

But the investigation was hampered from the outset by a lack of information from the Chinese community, who feared reprisals from the Triad gang leaders said to be behind the cold-blooded assassination.

Barrhead News: Former policeman Graeme Pearson knew the murder victimFormer policeman Graeme Pearson knew the murder victim

One of the first police officers on the murder scene was Constable Simon Keenan, who had spent the previous three years as the ethnic liaison officer to Glasgow city centre’s growing Chinese and Asian population.

Mr Keenan knew Mr Wong well and had the grim task of identifying the murder victim as his body lay in the street.

For the following two months, he worked closely with police colleagues to try to break down the wall of silence surrounding the case.

However, shortly before Christmas 1985, he had to be moved to another department after both he and his mother received sinister threats.

Mr Keenan, 64, who now works as a leadership consultant, said: “The senior officer who was running the murder inquiry told me they had heard from a reliable source that my life was in danger, so I was taken off it and my role as ethnic liaison officer.

“It was one of the scariest times of my life.

“The night of the murder, I was working nearby and told to report to Rose Street, where the body was still lying. I got to the scene about 20 minutes after the attack and discovered it was Mr Wong.”

Another former police officer who knew the murder victim was Graeme Pearson, who served as head of the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency.

He gained the trust of Mr Wong while probing an extortion racket against Chinese restaurant owners in 1979.

Mr Pearson said: “Philip Wong was a decent bloke and a very hard-working guy.

“After all this time, it would be justice for his family if those responsible for his murder were finally put behind bars.”

Anyone who can help the investigation into Mr Wong’s murder is asked to call the police on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, where information can be given anonymously, on 0800 555 111.