Ards FC midfielder Gary Warwick who was injured in street attack leaves hospital
A footballer who suffered a fractured skull after being attacked outside a Belfast nightclub, is out of hospital and on the road to recovery.
Ards FC midfielder Gary Warwick needed 12 staples in his head and was in hospital for two weeks as a result of the assault.
The 25-year-old had been hoping for an earlier discharge to allow him to attend the Intermediate Cup Final at the National Stadium as a spectator, but he was too unwell to watch from the stands as his side took on Institute.
Instead the club's chairman Brian Adams visited the player's bedside at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to present Gary - known to his teammates as "Gazza" - with his Championship One winner's medal.
He was also honoured by his teammates who wore a special T-shirt after the match featuring a picture of him along with the words "This one's for you Gary" for his contribution for the club this season.
Ards FC manager Niall Currie welcomed the news the player was on the road to recovery.
"We are absolutely delighted - everyone at the club is," he said. "He's out and making progress and he's earned his place in the club.
"Gary is delighted that we are now in the Premiership. We might have struggled to get over the line, but we still did it and it's really a great leap forward.
"We know Gary has a long road ahead to make a full recovery, but he knows that he has our full support and we will help him in any way we can in getting him back to full strength."
A 36-year-old man arrested in connection with the attack on the footballer remains on bail pending further police inquiries.