WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE
Michael Fitzsimmons was coming to the end of a night out with his mates on Saturday when he became the target of a violent attack on the street.
He was walking in Islington when a group of young men knocked him to the ground where they punched and kicked him in the head - continuing the savage attack as his mates dragged his helpless body away.
The 22-year-old pipe layer from Edgeworth spent the night in the Mater Hospital with a broken nose in two places and a fractured cheekbone.
Police are calling for help identifying those responsible for the savage attack.
Mr Fitzsimmons and three friends had spent the evening having a drink and playing pool at the Gallipoli Club on Beaumont Street.
They called one of their parents to pick them up after they made a quick stop to visit a friend who was a bouncer at The Newcastle Hotel, before calling it a night.
It was on their way back towards Beaumont Street to meet the car - Mr Fitzsimmons walking a few metres ahead of his friends - that he was set upon.
"All I remember is getting hit really hard in the face, dropping to the ground and getting kicked in the face a number of times and not being able to fight back," he said.
"It's just wrong that some people can do this and get away with it. I know it happens all the time but it's not good.
"When I get back on my feet I don't think I'll be going out much to be honest."
One of Mr Fitzsimmons' three mates who were with him on Saturday night told the Newcastle Herald the 22-year-old was a "happy drunk" who was always friendly and looking to strike up conversations on the rare occasions he had a night out.
The friend, who asked not to be named, said he saw a "barrage" of punches from two of the unknown men, believed to be in their 20s.
When Mr Fitzsimmons' friends raced to separate the attackers from the 22-year-old, two more assailants joined in.
"It was a really brutal barrage of punching," he said.
"I grabbed my friend under his arm and started dragging him away and what really shocked me was as we were trying to diffuse the situation, that's when I received a few little hits. They were still trying to punch him and were kicking at his head as I was dragging him away."
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