The family of a Wigan dad fighting for life after being punched in the back of the head on King Street has spoken out about town centre violence.
Engaged father-of-three Sam Yates, from Worsley Hall, is on a life-support machine in Salford Royal hospital following the sickening early-hours attack outside a nightclub.
His devastated family say the 31-year-old had become involved in a scuffle at around 2am on Saturday March 23 and the bouncers had removed everyone involved from the venue.
Further trouble ensued outside, including punches being thrown and kicks aimed, but eventually the groups started to go their separate ways.
However, as Sam was walking along King Street another group of people headed towards him and someone ran up behind him, striking a devastating blow to the head.
Sam has now suffered major brain injuries and his family do not know what condition he will be in if or when he wakes up.
Police managed to arrest a man soon after the horrific incident took place and he has now been released under investigation.
Dad Geoff spoke of the horrendous consequences that can result from disagreements on nights out and is urging other people to be careful.
Geoff, 50, said: “From what the police have told me there’s been a confrontation outside the club, with punches being thrown and someone trying to kick Sam’s girlfriend.
“It’s all been broken out and they’ve been walking off. According to the officers Sam was going about his own business when this group has made a beeline for him.
“They’ve started arguing and somebody just comes running up at the back of him and hits him before running off. Sam’s fallen straight to the deck.
“At the hospital they put him in an induced coma with a severe head injury. He was under heavy sedation until last Wednesday. They’ve taken the medication off but he hasn’t woken up. He’s not really responding.
“Parts of his brain are dead and won’t repair themselves.
“People are being punched on nights out and it is happening far too often. It needs to be highlighted. People don’t realise what they are doing.
“The punch on Sam seems to have come out of the blue, he seems to have been picked randomly.”
“They have ruined his life. It is absolute madness.”
Sam’s family, made up of Geoff, his mum Dawn Allen and his four siblings have been surrounding his bedside hoping he will make a recovery.
Dad Sam is engaged to his fiancee Natalie Atherton and has three children, while he previously worked in industrial roofing and cladding.
Geoff’s partner Emma Pugh, 38, said: “People are going out intending to have a good time and not end up in this situation.
“Sam’s got three kids and explaining what has happened to his younger ones has been hard.
“We’re just waiting and waiting now.”
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed a 21-year-old man has been arrested and released under investigation. The incident has been logged as actual bodily harm (ABH).
Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call 101, quoting reference number 0259 for March 23.