Four men have been arrested following an assault on a former Chorley Panthers Rugby League player outside Factory nightclub in the city centre.

At around 3.20am on Sunday 2 December 2018, police were called to reports that a man had been assaulted outside the nightclub on Princess Street.

Officers attended and Joe Sharratt, 18, was taken to hospital with a serious head injury. He has since been released and is recovering at home.

An investigation was immediately launched and following extensive enquiries, officers have today (Friday 14 December 2018), arrested four men in connection with this incident.

Two men – aged 20 and 27 – have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, section 47 and section 20 assault.

A further two men – aged 39 and 40 – have been arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and section 47 assault.

The men all remain in custody for questioning and enquiries are ongoing.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Crompton, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “This was a horrific incident that quite clearly could have resulted in devastating consequences and we are working tirelessly to ensure that those responsible are held to account for their actions.

“Thankfully, the victim is making good progress and is recovering at home with his family.

“I would like to thank those witnesses who have already been in touch and shared their footage of the incident with us as this has really assisted with our enquiries.

“We have now arrested four men who will be interviewed by my team throughout the day but I want to stress that our investigation does not stop here and would still ask anyone with information to get in touch.”

Chairman of Chorley Panthers Alan Bowers has spoken to Joe’s family.

He said: “He’s finally been released from hospital, he’s been told to endure complete rest for now what is massively frustrating for him.

“Hopefully if he takes things easy and follows the hospital advise everyone is hopeful he will make a full recovery.

“He’s been humbled by the amount of well wishes he’s had from across the world as the footage went worldwide.”

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.