SAINTS academy player Joe Sharratt has suffered head injuries after being assaulted in Manchester in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Sharratt had been one of a number of Saints players representing Lancashire against Australian Schoolboys in Manchester on Saturday.

Greater Manchester Police have issued an appeal for information following the incident outside the Factory nightclub involving doorstaff and Sharratt and his friend Leon Cooper.

St Helens Star:

Video shows Sharratt (above) being thrown to the ground before a number of door staff repeatedly punch the friend who was with him.

WARNING: This video contains footage which may upset some readers

Video from @Dontfollowstu

At 3.20am on Sunday police were called to Factory nightclub to reports that a man had been assaulted on Princess Street.

Officers attended and an 18-year-old man was taken to hospital to be treated for a serious head injury.

He remains in a stable condition, police say.

Saints said on Tuesday afternoon that Joe is "progressing well" in hospital.

Joe's mum Jane told BBC reporters yesterday that he has suffered a bleed on the brain but that he has been "sitting up and talking".

An investigation has been launched and officers are appealing for anyone with video footage to get in touch.

St Helens Star:

Stills from the video which has been widely shared on Twitter

Chief Inspector Cherie Buttle of GMP’s City of Manchester Division, said: “We’re aware that there are a number of videos circulating on social media and I cannot stress how important it is that those with footage make contact with us.

“With a mobile phone at everyone’s fingertips, filming something is often the first thing people think to do but please, pass this onto us to so we can fully investigate this matter.

“While it was early in the morning, this happened on a busy street so there may have been people who have seen something but have not yet been in touch with us.

“You can talk directly to our investigation team or pass on any information through Crimestoppers.”

St Helens Star:

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.

A statement released by Saints this morning read: "We understand GM Police are investigating the matter and therefore we cannot make any further comment at this time.

"Joe is of impeccable character and is an upstanding member of our Academy system. He represented Lancashire Schoolboys against Australian Schoolboys with distinction on Saturday and was hoping to represent England next weekend.

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

"Our welfare team are now in contact with Joe’s family and we will offer any assistance we can at this distressing time.

"Understandably, our thoughts are now with Joe and his family."

Joe's mum Jane told BBC North West Tonight: "We are very proud of Joe for many reasons. We love him very much and we just wanted to pull together with our family to help him get back on his feet."

Factory has immediately terminated the service contract with the security contractor Professional Security.

The security contractor has confirmed that it has sacked the staff involved.

A statement on its website read: "Following an incident which took place outside Factory nightclub in Manchester in the early hours of Sunday 2 December, we have commenced a full investigation.

"We can confirm that Professional Security has terminated the contracts of all of the security personnel involved in this incident. We are also working closely with the local authorities, police, and the Security Industry Authority to ensure that appropriate action is taken swiftly against all of these door supervisors.

"As a company, our primary focus is on upholding the highest standards. We have been an SIA Approved Contractor for 12 years, achieving some of the highest scores in the industry over recent years as a result of our commitment to compliance.

"We were appalled by the behaviour of the door supervisors shown in the footage of this incident, which contradicts everything that we strive to achieve at Professional Security."