Footballer awaits reconstruction surgery after protecting woman in attack
An amateur footballer is awaiting facial reconstruction after being repeatedly kicked and beaten as he lay unconscious after an attack during a night out.
Richie Robins before the attack.
Richie Robins, first team goalkeeper for non-league Wivenhoe Town FC and former Colchester United youth team player, is understood to have stepped in to protect a woman when he was set upon by half a dozen men.
The 21-year-old student was punched and knocked out but the attack continued as he lay on the floor, Essex Police said.
Detective constable Seff Manesh appealed for people who witnessed the attack outside a Subway store 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.”
Richie Robins after the attack.
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 should contact detectives at Colchester police station on 101