A FATHER from the North- East who was attacked outside a nightclub was last night continuing to fight for his life.

John Eccles suffered serious head injuries when he was beaten up outside Decades in Consett, County Durham, in the early hours of Sunday.

He is in the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle where he remains in a critical condition.

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Mr Eccles is a part-time manager at the Louisa Sports Centre in Stanley and has a three-year-old daughter.

He is from Blackhill area but lives in Sherburn Terrace, Consett, with his younger brother, Mark.

Mark Eccles, 31, who works with children in care, said: “The doctors and nurses have been absolutely fantastic with us. As a family, we would like to thank everyone at the RVI for all of the help they given to John.”

The brothers had been out with a mutual friend, who works abroad, when Mr Eccles was attacked at about 2am.

His Facebook page has been inundated with messages of support from friends, family and well-wishers.

His brother said: “The support we have been getting is unreal. We would also like to thank our family and friends.

Everyone has been amazing.”

Andrew Dodds, 34, of Court Street, Consett, has been charged with wounding with intent and appeared before Consett Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Magistrates have declined jurisdiction over proceedings because their sentencing powers are not sufficient and the case will be dealt with at Durham Crown Court.

Mr Dodds has been granted conditional bail until his next appearance on May 9.

The news has stunned people who live near the brothers in Sherburn Terrace.

Neighbour Theresa Smith, 77, said: “I was very sorry to hear about what has happened to Mr Eccles.

“I only know him to say hello to, but I hope he makes a full recovery.

“I am a churchgoer so I will say a prayer and light a candle for him.”

Detectives are continuing to ask people for information about the circumstances surrounding the attack to come forward.

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to contact Durham Police on 101 and ask for Detective Chief Inspector Mick Callan, or ring Crimestoppers on 0800- 555-111.