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

Police were called to the Factory club at 3.20am on Sunday, after reports that a man had been assaulted on Princess Street. Officers attended and 18-year-old Joe Sharratt was taken to hospital to be treated for a serious head injury. He remains in a stable condition.

A video has been shared on social media of the incident. The youngster came through the ranks at Chorley Panthers Amateur Rugby League Club.

In April the Citizen reported how he had signed professional terms with Super League side St Helens.

Alan Bowers, chairman of Chorley Panthers, said: “As a club we were completely devastated when we heard Joe was the injured party. Joe played for the club before signing for St Helens and was always a superb ambassador for the club on and off the field.

“He’s a player who gives his all and is quite simply a pleasure to know.

“His mum, Jane, and dad, Brian, have been ever-present on the touchline throughout his playing career and they are now at his bedside hoping for a full recovery.

“I’ve spoken to his dad and the family have been overwhelmed by the amount of best wishes sent their way.

“After a very frightening 24 hours Joe is doing well.

“The doctors are finding his recovery remarkable.

“He is not out of the woods yet but hopefully he will make a full recovery.

“Everyone at the club is sending Joe our best wishes and testament to the young man is the high number of messages he’s receiving on social media.

“Nobody should have to end their night out in these circumstances particularly after representing your country in the afternoon against an Australian touring side.

“We are all looking forward to seeing Joe back on the field.”

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.”

The St Helens club released a statement on Monday that said: “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.

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