Leeds United stars Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer will face private legal action from the young Asian student they were cleared of assaulting.

The family's advisors also said they were seeking to bring a private prosecution, claiming conspiracy against the football club over allegations they had covered up evidence surrounding the case, it was announced last night.

Woodgate, 21, from Middlesbrough, and Bowyer, 24, were cleared by a jury at Hull Crown Court on Friday of causing Sarfraz Najeib, 21, grievous bodily harm with intent following the savage street assault in Leeds city centre in January last year.

Woodgate was convicted of affray for his part in the terrifying chase of Mr Najeib and his friends before the assault, following a confrontation outside a nightclub.

Both men face a legal bill of more than £1m. Bowyer was cleared of affray as well as GBH, but the judge ruled his statements to police had been "littered with lies".

Family advisor Suresh Grover said Mr Najeib and his brother Shahzad, 22, were taking out a private prosecution,

They will claim damages for assault against the two footballers and Paul Clifford - who was given a six-year jail sentence for the attack - and Neale Caveney, who was convicted of affray but cleared of assault. Clifford and Caveney are both from Middlesbrough.

The summons would also name former Leeds United reserve team striker Tony Hackworth, now with Notts County, who was cleared of assault during the first trial earlier this year.

Mr Grover, chairman of the National Civil Rights Movement, said: "This could potentially lead to another trial.

"Obviously the defendants could settle outside court. But our intention is not to gain money but that those responsible for the attack are brought to court.

"The family have said very clearly to us that they want to proceed with this form of action."

He said there would be an allegation of conspiracy brought against Leeds United FC over what they were told about the players' part in the events of the night.

"The allegation is that there is very strong evidence that the club covered up for the defendants," he said.

Mr Grover said a private prosecution in the High Court would also bring evidence of a racial motivation in the attack.

The prosecution and judges in the first trial and later retrial stressed that there was no evidence of a racial motive.

Mr Grover said: "The family believes this verdict was perverse, given the evidence and that there is sufficient evidence of assault.

"Secondly, a significant part was racial motivation and that was discarded in the trial. Fresh proceedings would have that racial element."

Mr Grover said that solicitors would prepare papers to be served on the players and then a summons would be issued.