Grandad’s plea to find attackers

Peter Murphy recovering at home after being assaulted in Ince
Peter Murphy recovering at home after being assaulted in Ince

A grandad recovering after an unprovoked attack in broad daylight says he is determined not to let it affect him

Popular rugby league club stalwart Peter Murphy wants to live his life as normal after he was attacked as he walked on the William Foster playing fields in Ince last month.

He spent four days in hospital after being punched in the face and is still recovering at his home in Poolstock.

Mr Murphy, who is secretary of Wigan St Patrick’s amateur rugby league club, said: “One of the first reactions I had in hospital was that I’m not allowing this to affect me or stop me. I tend to be positive in that way, that is me.”

The 59-year-old had gone for a walk when he was set upon by two men at noon on Friday, July 15, near Ince railway station.

They asked him for the time and when he said he did not know, he was punched by one of the men.

They told Mr Murphy, who was recovering from a recent heart attack, that they would go away if he gave them money.

He said: “I remember saying, ‘You can’t even put me on the ground, I’m not going to give you money to go away.’”

The men ran away and Mr Murphy planned to continue his walk, but phoned wife Ann when he realised that he was bleeding heavily.

She took him to Wigan Infirmary for treatment, where medics found he had a broken nose and severe lacerations to his lip and nose.

Mr Murphy said he was bleeding for 18 hours as a result of the injuries, but eventually it stopped and he was allowed to go home from hospital four days later.

He is now at home recovering and praised the hospital staff who helped him.

“The medical profession have been absolutely outstanding in the hospital, particularly in the resus unit and Langtree unit,” he said.

“Without fail they were all really shocked by what had happened and were all horrified.

“I had a lot of medical people, nurses, doctors, coming up to me and saying how terrible they thought it was what had happened.”

While Mr Murphy, who has four children and eight grandchildren, is keen to move forward from what happened, he is concerned that the men could hurt someone else.

He said: “It was so random that it could happen again to someone else. There was nothing whatsoever to cause it to happen.

“There was no provocation or words exchanged, it was just completely out of nothing. They just appeared, asked me the time and punched me in the face.

“I could have been anybody, they didn’t know who I was. It could easily happen again and that’s the worrying thing.

The assault is being investigated by the police, but no arrests have yet been made.

Mr Murphy said: “It could happen again and that’s why I hope if anyone knows anything, they will come forward.”

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call police on 0161 856 7124, quoting incident number 925 on July 15.

Alternatively, call Crimstoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.