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Brighton fan speaks after being stabbed before defying medical advice to attend match

Brighton fan Jack Stephenson speaks after being stabbed before defying medical advice to make sure he could attend the Europa League match.

He was one of the victims of a stabbing incident in Italy the night before a game against Roma, with the attack taking place in the Italian capital on Wednesday evening.

It resulted in spending 13 hours in a hospital, and even though he received three stitches on his leg, he was determined enough to make his way straight from hospital to the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

He said that nothing could deter him from witnessing the game, one of the biggest in the club’s history considering how far they’ve come and nearly dropped out of the EFL.

Speaking to BBC South East Today, he said: “I’m quite glad it happened to me and not someone else in my group, as a lot of people who I was out with were older.

“Nothing was going to stop me from getting to the match, even if it was not a good result in the end.”

He managed to get crutches, though admits it wasn’t a good idea to leave hospital without any “because I could barely walk”.

“I used social media to see if anyone had a spare crutch around by chance but luckily the hotel I was staying at had a spare one – albeit it was a child’s one!”

As he entered the ground on Thursday, he was serenaded by fellow fans who sang his name as he made his way to a seat.

He’s praised the work of staff members from the club, who came to visit him, as well as the Italian authorities and Sussex Police.

“All these European trips have been great and I have still enjoyed myself in Rome,” he added.

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A post shared by Fan Banter (@fan.banter)

While he can’t play any football due to his injuries, he still plans on attending the Bognor Regis v Hornchurch game on Saturday then watch Brighton’s next game at home to Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

Jack also told MailOnline he and his group ‘got jumped from behind and kicked against a wall’ and that it ‘happened so quickly’ that he ‘didn’t even see the attackers before I got up’.

The attackers kicked Jack in the head and stabbed him in the bottom three times. He doesn’t recall seeing the knife but said it was a ‘petty decent sized blade judging by the size of the hole in my trousers’.

Another of his mates got stabbed, and an update on him is that he has also released from hospital, while three others were kicked and punched.

Despite the nurse saying he should rest up instead of going to the match, he decided to pack up his stuff and made his way out.

Upon turning up to the stadium, Jack was mobbed by fell supporters chanting his name while also joking that ‘there’s f**k all wrong with him’.

Due to his wounds, Jack even stayed standing up for the whole 90 minutes, with his side losing 4-0, with Brighton fans kept behind for safety measures.

Jack said via The Argus:  “They came from behind and threw me to the floor. They kicked me in the face against a wall.

“At some point they stabbed me three times. I don’t remember being stabbed and didn’t feel it for quite a while.

“A restaurant pulled us in. I was walking around apologising to people for ruining their meals when I looked at my leg and it was just seeping blood.”

He says that an ambulance was called, but the first one ended up crashing into a bollard, so had to call for another.

Jack adds: “My feeling is that they were Roma fans but the police weren’t sure if they were or if they were criminals.

“I have been to hundreds of football games and never had anything like that. We had a bit of trouble in Marseille but they were quite happy to just walk away and do nothing.

“We were all a bit shook up but not deterred at all. I won’t be rushing back to Rome though.

“I’ll be at the Amex for Forest and the home leg. I’m not losing my 100 per cent attendance record this season.”

Jack’s pal Joey Thorpe recalls being mugged, speaking to MailOnline, he said: ‘I got jumped first, there were these kids following us and I got jumped first… They were pumping me in the head, kicking me in the ribs and just hammering me.’

His terrified mates quickly left the scenes as he was being attacked, but the gang of youths chased after them and also attacked two others while mugging them at knifepoint.

Joey urges other fans to not visit Rome when it comes to football, labelling it as the worst place he’s been to for a match.

Police were called to the scene after the attack, with a restaurant waiter raising the alarm, and found two men with stab wounds.

The two who were stabbed were also robbed of a belt bag which had their identity documents and wallets’.

Joey says referring to the muggers: ‘They’ve obviously heard that we’re English, and just put two and two together and just gone for it… it can be quite dangerous.

‘The police didn’t wanna know and never saw basically blaming us, which is obvious, because that was always gonna happen. Because we’re in a foreign country. they’re just going to blame us.’

‘We weren’t chanting or anything, we’d just come out of the pub. We’d had a few drinks, but we were just being as normal as possible,’ he said.

He spoke of previously going to a match in Marseille, and said while it ‘was quite sketchy, and you had a little bit of trouble,’ it was ‘nothing like what’s happening’ in Rome.

‘Nothing like that has ever happened to me, I’d never been anywhere near anything like that at any other football game or anything.’

‘It’s just a game of football, it’s crazy… We’re a very well-behaved group, so for it to happen to us is quite a shock.’

Jack, Joey and his friends now have to stay in Italy until Friday, but adds he hopes that they will stay safe in the meantime if they ‘all stick together’.

A FCDO spokesperson said: ‘We are providing assistance to two British people who were attacked in Rome and are in contact with the local authorities.’

This is how fans reacted as the Brighton fan speaks to media after being stabbed before defying medical advice to attend his club’s match…

@PobsPobjoy: @Jackalbion96 now it’s all calmed down..I hope your well and the pain killers are working 👍💙⚽️

@StepAsR: @Jackalbion96 I’m sorry for what happened to you, unfortunately that area of ​​Rome is very dangerous at night, my friends have been robbed and beaten up there lot of times. I’m really sorry, the whole city isn’t like that fortunately. I hope we meet again soon for another match.

@fiydimabTJ: Get well soon

@Hammersboyjoe: @Jackalbion96 Hope you’re doing okay mate, glad to see you made it to the game <3

@wilfhmy: “I’m quite glad it happened to me and not someone else in my group, as a lot of people who I was out with were older” Your couldn’t hate him if you tried, what a man.

@TheDeZerbiEra: What a bloke @Jackalbion96 you’re a credit to this football club mate

@kyle__98: Genuinely how can anyone dislike this man

@georgeboxall22: One of the most likeable guys in the Albion community. Glad he’s okay and got a great reception in the away end yesterday despite the result. #BHAFC

@mjavery11: must’ve been surreal having everyone chant for you, what a moment 🔵⚪️

@BennettsField: @Jackalbion96 we really need to see the stitches. I think I speak for everyone. #bhafc

@aitch_dan: We’re all fucking delighted you made it. Stay safe. 👏🏻 @bhamidget: What a guy. Need to get you a pint on Sunday mate

@messageismyname: I loved how everyone parted to let you to the front of the queue, singing your name. Possibly the highlight of the stadium experience for me. Hope you’re doing alright mate.

@groundhoppercam: the absolute 🐐 – of course not the best result, but glad you’re safe and well 💙

@harrison_200502: Glad you’re well mate

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