Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Friday, 26 June 2009 11:35 UK

Rugby fan's warning after mugging

Midge Ferguson
Mr Ferguson spent three nights in hospital in South Africa

Rugby fan Midge Ferguson is warning other supporters to take care after he was mugged following the Lions in South Africa and left with a fractured skull.

Mr Ferguson, 43, from Cardiff, was hit over the head and robbed while walking a short distance between his friend's hotel and his own in Bloemfontein.

He said he lost two pints of blood and has lost hearing in his left ear.

South Africa is hosting the 2010 football World Cup and he warned all sport fans to "be sensible" there.

"I have had a thumping but I don't want people to be put off watching sport," said Mr Ferguson, who is taking a break from his job as a television locations manager to follow the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.

"But people need to be sensible and I was a bit unfortunate," he added.

He explained he had left his friend at one hotel and decided to walk around 200 yards (183m) back to his own after an evening drinking.

He was then hit over the back of his head with a heavy object - possibly a rock or a hammer - and fell to the ground.

When he came around, he discovered his camera and mobile phone had been stolen.

He said he had 30 medical staples put in the back of his head, and six stitches over his left eye.

"I still have no hearing in my left ear. My eye has got better now, but my vision was blurred," he added.

"The police said if they caught somebody, they would charge them with attempted murder," he said, although he thought it was unlikely that anyone would be caught.

South Africa has a high crime rate, with visitors warned about robbery and carjackings.

However, Dr Johann Burger, a senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, which is a non-profit, independent organisation in South Africa, admits the country has "a serious crime problem" but emphasises the situation is improving.



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