TWO men who were viciously attacked by a gang of thugs in Sheffield city centre were repeatedly knifed, it emerged today - and one of the young victims has since had to undergo surgery to have his spleen removed.
The men, both aged 24, both also suffered punctured lungs, a family friend of one of the victims told The Star.
The men had been enjoying a night out on Saturday when they were surrounded in the early hours of Sunday morning by a group of up to eight yobs, several of whom were armed with knives.
Today more details of the horrific attack in Holly Lane, near Sheffield City Hall, emerged.
The family friend said one of the victims had been stabbed up to eight times.
The two men were rushed to hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning, both suffering multiple stab wounds.
It is believed the men, one of whom was with his girlfriend, were walking between Holly Lane and West Street, when they were approached by a group of thugs.
The family friend told The Star: “One of the yobs asked if one of the lads was looking at his girlfriend. When he said ‘no’ he walked up to him and headbutted him.”
Police said the second man was set upon as he tried to help his pal.
Det Insp Sean Bird from South Yorkshire Police said: “This was a totally unprovoked attack, which started one-on-one before the remainder of the group got involved. It was over very quickly and the group walked off rather than running.”
He confirmed: “I can say the men suffered numerous puncture wounds and are in a serious but stable condition in hospital.”
The family friend told The Star they believed the attack had been racially-motivated. All the thugs were either black or mixed race and both victims are white.
DI Bird said: “The inquiry is in its infancy and we are keeping an open mind as to whether or not there was a racial aspect.
“There were no racial comments or otherwise used before, during or after this incident,” he added.
DI Bird said police were following up lines of inquiry including looking at CCTV and appealing for witnesses.
He said the men’s families were upset by the attacks and the girlfriend who witnessed the incident was not injured but was “obviously upset”.
He added: “Although this is by all accounts an unprovoked attack resulting in serious injuries, these kinds of incidents are few and far between in Sheffield.”
The suspects are described as black or mixed race, aged in their early to mid-20s, and of medium builds.
Anyone with information should call police on 0114 220 2020 quoting incident number 249 of the 26 June or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.