December 9 2013 Latest news:
Joe Sandler Clarke
Friday, October 4, 2013
An Arsenal fan brutally attacked by Italian football hooligans has thanked the off-duty doctor who treated him seconds after he was stuck in the face by a cast iron stool.
Tim Garwood, 48, needed 16 stitches following the unprovoked assault outside Piebury Corner, in Holloway Road, before Arsenal’s Champions League game with Napoli on Tuesday night.
Mr Garwood, of Romford, Essex, was sitting outside the restaurant with his son and with other fans when he was set upon by around 50 thugs.
He said: “A group of Napoli fans came round the corner down Liverpool Road and as they walked past I thought ‘oh god’.
“One guy got kicked in the stomach and was on the floor. Then another Napoli fan hit me with a cast iron stool, causing my head split open like a tomato. There was blood everywhere.”
Luckily for Mr Garwood one of the fans in the queue was a qualified doctor.
“He told everyone to stand back and he bandaged up my head with a tea towel. And that was seconds after the incident occurred. I didn’t get his name unfortunately, but I’d like to thank him personally,” he said.
Mr Garwood was rushed to hospital where he needed a brain scan.
He said: “With the weight of the chair and where it hit me, it could’ve been a lot worse.”
The owner of Piebury Corner, Paul Campbell, 48, said Napoli fans had been around the restaurant for all day not causing trouble and said the attack was completely unprovoked.
He said: “Napoli fans began throwing tables and chairs threw the windows. The Arsenal fans were trying to get away. You can clearly see from the CCTV. There was no retaliation whatsoever.
“It was terrifying. Total carnage. The Napoli fans would go into the shop drag the chairs out and throw them back in.
“I couldn’t do anything to stop them. They could have pulled a blade out on us. They could have been carrying knives. They were carrying belts and their faces covered with balaclavas.”
One other man was taken to hospital after the incident.
A window was smashed at Piebury Corner and there was further damage to the inside of the shop. The repairs to the shop are likely to cost Mr Campbell around £5,000; but he said he was just relieved that no-one was seriously hurt.
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said that no arrests have been made in relation to the incident which is being investigated by officers from Islington CID.
Mr Garwood, a season-ticket holder at the Emirates, is now recovering at home having been discharged from hospital on Wednesday.
He insists the incident has not put him off returning to Arsenal and has been given a box seat by the club for their upcoming European game against Borussia Dortmund.