UK & World News
Footballer Needs Face Surgery After Attack
An amateur footballer's face will have to be rebuilt after he was knocked unconscious and beaten during a night out.
Richie Robins is understood to have been set upon by up to half a dozen men as he apparently stepped in to protect a woman.
The 21-year-old, who is first team goalkeeper for non-league Wivenhoe Town FC and a former Colchester United youth team player, was knocked out and fell to the ground at the start of the attack.
Essex Police said the beating continued while the student was lying on the floor unconscious.
Detective Constable Seff Manesh appealed for witnesses to the attack, which happened outside a Subway shop in Queen Street, Colchester, at 3.30am on December 21, to come forward.
He said: "This young man had been out with his friends after returning home from university for the Christmas holiday.
"We are aware of a disturbance involving a large number of young men and are examining CCTV to establish what happened and who was involved.
"This student has sustained some very nasty-looking injuries which will affect him for the foreseeable future.
"We're looking to speak with those bystanders who saw what happened and what started the melee."
A spokesman for Wivenhoe FC, who play in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, said Mr Robins suffered "severe" injuries including fractures to his eye socket and cheek bones.
He added: "Naturally, everyone at Wivenhoe Town FC sends Richie their best wishes for a speedy recovery and hope that the people responsible for attacking him are quickly brought to justice."
Mo Osman, chairman and manager at Wivenhoe Town, told the Colchester Gazette Mr Robins had gone to the aid of a woman who was being harassed. He said he had not been drinking as he had a match the next day.
After the incident, Mr Robins was taken to Colchester General Hospital by paramedics and was due to see a specialist surgeon this week.
Essex Police said there were about six attackers who were described as black and in their late teens and early 20s.
Officers have arrested a 19-year-old man from Colchester in connection with the incident. He has been released on police bail.
Witnesses have been asked to contact detectives at Colchester police station on 101.
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