Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Stranraer FC player stabbed on night out

Paul McInness
Mr McInness was attacked outside a hotel in North Ayrshire

A young footballer and his friend have been stabbed on a Christmas night out in North Ayrshire in what is believed to have been a disturbance over a taxi.

Stranraer FC player Paul McInnes and Anthony Boyle, both 20, were attacked outside Seamill Hydro, near Ardrossan, at about 0110 GMT on Monday.

Mr McInnes is in a serious condition in Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock. Mr Boyle was released after treatment.

Police are treating the attack as attempted murder.

A statement on the Stranraer FC website said: "The thoughts and best wishes of everyone connected with the club are with Paul McInnes and his family and with his friend Anthony Boyle and his family after they were admitted to Crosshouse Hospital following a vicious assault on a Christmas night out with their pals.

"Both were knifed in an an alleged bust up over a taxi outside the Seamill Hydro hotel in Ayrshire.

Witness appeal

"Paul, who was stabbed twice, lost litres of blood and suffered a punctured lung in what the police are treating as attempted murder."

Det Sgt Bert Graystone, of Strathclyde Police, appealed for anyone who witnessed the attack to come forward.

"At the time the incident took place, a party night had just finished at the hotel and the car park would have been very busy," he said.

"I would ask anyone who witnessed the attack, in particular, drivers of taxis and mini-buses who were waiting to pick people up, to contact Saltcoats Police Office."

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