A CHORLEY rugby player is in hospital being treated for a serious injury after an incident outside a nightclub in Manchester.

At 3.20am on December 2, police were called to Factory nightclub to reports that a man had been assaulted on Princess Street.
Officers attended and an 18-year-old man was taken to hospital to be treated for a serious head injury.

He remains in a stable condition.

It is believed the teenager is Joe Sharratt who came through the ranks at Chorley Panthers RL Club and in April the Citizen reported how the 18-year-old had signed professional terms with St Helens Rugby League Club.

The Super League giants released a statement this afternoon.

It read: "Joe suffered serious head injuries and has been hospitalised.

"We understand GM Police are investigating the matter and therefore we cannot make any further comment at this time.

"Joe is of impeccable character and is an upstanding member of our Academy system.

"He represented Lancashire Schoolboys against Australian Schoolboys with distinction on Saturday and was hoping to represent England next weekend.

"He is a top academic achiever with a very bright future ahead of him alongside his rugby league prowess.

"Our welfare team are now in contact with Joe’s family and we will offer any assistance we can at this distressing time.

"Understandably, our thoughts are now with Joe and his family." 

An investigation has been launched and officers are appealing for anyone with video footage to get in touch.

Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle of GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: “We’re aware that there are a number of videos circulating on social media and I cannot stress how important it is that those with footage make contact with us.

“With a mobile phone at everyone’s fingertips, filming something is often the first thing people think to do but please, pass this onto us to so we can fully investigate this matter.

“While it was early in the morning, this happened on a busy street so there may have been people who have seen something but have not yet been in touch with us.

“You can talk directly to our investigation team or pass on any information through Crimestoppers.”

Chorley Panthers posted on their Facebook page. It read: "Wishing Joe a very speedy recovery. Lots of love from all your Panther family xx"

Police are appealing for information following a disturbance outside a nightclub in the city centre.

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 3221 quoting reference number 396 of 02/12/18 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.