Stabbing outside Middleton pub

Date published: 23 March 2010

A man was stabbed in the shoulder after trying to stop his friend being attacked outside a Middleton pub.

It happened outside the Oddfellows Arms on Oldham Road at about 11.30pm on 20 March 2010.

The scuffle broke out after English Defence League supporters were behaving aggressively and abusing customers at the pub.

They were asked to leave the pub by one of the victims, who escorted them outside.

He was then jumped and his friend, 49, intervened. After the scuffle had ended and the two men returned inside, the victim realised he had suffered a stab wound to the back of his left shoulder.

It is believed a cutthroat-type blade had been used.

Police are now appealing to anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward.

The first offender was white, about 5ft 6in tall, in his late teens or early 20s and of a chunky build. He had short black hair and was wearing a blue EDL t-shirt with 'No Surrender Al-Qaeda' and an England badge emblazed on the front. The second man was taller, with dark hair and wearing dark-rimmed glasses and a light jacket. The third offender was also wearing a sweatshirt with an EDL logo.

Two of the men had England flags around their waist.

Detective Constable Wayne Hagan, of Rochdale CID, said: "Sadly, alcohol-related violence like this gives pubs in our communities an unwanted, and unfair reputation, as the majority of pub-goers do behave responsibly.

"Some people are intent on causing trouble and we need to identify these men and lock them up where they cannot hurt anyone else.

"I would appeal to anyone who has information to come forward. The pub would have been quite busy at that time so there maybe a lot of potential witnesses who could be key to our investigation.

"I would also stress that there is no racial element to this attack whatsoever, and appears to be a totally unprovoked attack by these men who, fuelled by alcohol, were determined to cause trouble."

Anyone with information is asked to call Rochdale CID on 0161 856 8437 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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