Seven men arrested following assault on Chorley Panthers and St Helens rugby star Joe Sharratt

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A total of seven men were arrested over the weekend following an assault on an 18-year-old rugby league player outside a Manchester nightclub.

At around 3.20am on Sunday December 2, police were called to reports of a brawl outside Factory nightclub on Princess Street.

Joe Sharratt, 18, is a former Chorley Panthers star who now plays for St Helens.

Joe Sharratt, 18, is a former Chorley Panthers star who now plays for St Helens.

Officers attended and 18-year-old Joe Sharratt, a former Chorley Panthers star currently at St Helens, was initially hospitalised with serious head injuries following the incident.

An investigation was immediately launched following the incident and following extensive enquiries, police arrested seven men over the weekend. A 48-year-old woman has also been interviewed under caution.

READ MORE: Rugby league star suffers bleed on brain after Manchester nightclub assault

The latest arrests came today (Monday December 17), when two men – aged 23 and 29 – were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and section 47 assault. They remain in custody for questioning.

A 21-year-old man was also arrested on Saturday December 15 on suspicion of violent disorder and section 47 assault. He has also been bailed pending further enquiries. 

On Friday December 14, four other men – aged 20, 27, 39 and 40 – were arrested, before being bailed pending further enquiries. 

The St Helens Academy player has since been discharged from hospital and is continuing his recovery at home.

Detective Inspector Geoffrey Machent, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said: “We are progressing with our investigation and are continuing to follow several lines of enquiry to ensure that those responsible for this horrendous incident are brought to justice.  

“We have now interviewed a total of eight people as part of our enquiries and are continuing to review CCTV footage and witness statements. 

"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.

“But I would continue to urge anyone that witnessed this disturbing assault to get in touch as soon as possible, even the smallest piece of information could really assist with our enquiries.” 

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.