Injured Chorley and Lancashire rugby league star 'is sitting up and talking'

A Chorley rugby league star badly hurt in an attack is "sitting up and talking" his mum has revealed.

Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 1:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 2:15 pm
Joe Sharratt had played for Chorley Panthers and recently signed with the St Helens Academy

Joe Sharratt, 18, suffered a bleed on the brain after an attack outside a nightclub in Manchester.

Video of the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning was widely circulated on social media and Joe can be seen at the beginning of the footage being punched and immediately collapsing.

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Joe Sharratt had played for Chorley Panthers and recently signed with the St Helens Academy

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Sharratt's parents, Jane and Brian, said their son was recovering and "making a few jokes... which is a really good sign".

They said Joe was a "lovely lad" and getting the call about the incident was "probably the worst nightmare".

The teenage rugby league star played for Chorley Panthers before being signed for St Helens Academy last year.

The incident is believed to have started after a "pushing incident" inside the club, which spilled out on to the street. Door staff from the club then became involved in the incident, which quickly descended into a brawl.

The footage also shows bouncers punching Joe's friend Leon Cooper, also 18, a pharmacy student at Manchester University.

He told the BBC that one of the door staff ran at Mr Sharratt, and then several bouncers "started jumping on" him.

Describing the attack, he said: "I tried to help him but they were just hitting me.

"I wasn't trying to attack them... I was just trying to get to my mate."

He added: "I didn't even realise how many times I had been hit.

"You can see in the video I'm just trying to get to him [Mr Sharratt] and they're whacking me even though I'm not punching them at all."

Joe has been described as a young man "of impeccable character" by the St Helen Rugby League Academy.

A spokesman said: "Joe is of impeccable character and is an upstanding member of our Academy system.

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

He has represented Lancashire Schoolboys and had been hoping to play for England Schoolboys at the week.