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Rugby star battered in street attack
8:52am Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Latest
A TOP rugby player was left with horrific facial injuries when his head was smashed on a kerb in an unprovoked attack.
Ben Stewart was set upon as he and his teammates enjoyed a night in Bournemouth town centre after celebrating winning the first match of the season.
He suffered shocking injuries including a broken nose, cuts, bruising and swelling but no one has yet been arrested for the vicious assault, which took place in Old Christchurch Road.
Ben, 32, a winger with Bournemouth RFC, now hopes witnesses will come forward when they realise the severity of the attack.
Ben and his friends spent some time in Charminster on the evening of Saturday, September 1 before heading to the town centre and splitting up. They arranged to meet later in Walkabout.
“There were just two of us heading down Old Christchurch Road to Walkabout when this happened,” said New Zealand-born Ben, who has played for Bournemouth for four years.
“A group of men and women walking in the other direction made a remark to us and I don’t remember anything after that.
“My friend remembers being pushed over and then seeing me on the pavement. There was a lot of blood and the group ran away.”
Ben, who lives in Chandlers Ford, was taken to Poole Hospital where he remained for 24 hours while X-rays were carried out for suspected skull and facial fractures.
“I was very lucky that it was only my nose that was broken” added Ben.
“I have a couple of scars which I don't think will go away.”
Ben, who works in sales for Bacardi Martini, was forced to stay off work for a week and has been unable to play for Bournemouth since.
He was replaced by less experienced players since the attack and Bournemouth lost one of the matches heavily.
“I hope I can play again this week,” said Ben, who helped the team win promotion to National League 2 South last season.
“If anyone knows who did this, I would like them to contact the police.”
Dorset Police have appealed for witnesses to the incident, which took place at around 1.20am on Sunday September 2.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or |the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.