Bouncers from Manchester’s Factory 251 nightclub are being investigated after an 18-year-old league player was attacked outside the club.

St Helens academy player suffered a serious head injury and is in a stable condition in hospital.

His mother told the BBC that he had a bleed on the brain but he was now”sitting up and talking”.

A social networking video shows Mr Sharratt thrown to the floor before door employees repeatedly punch his buddy.

Greater Manchester Police has appealed for witnesses to the attack at 03:20 GMT on Sunday.

Mr Sharratt had played Lancashire Academy against Australian Schoolboys only hours earlier and was also tipped to represent England Youth soon.

A St Helens spokesman said:”Joe is of impeccable character and is an upstanding member of the Academy program.

“He’s a leading academic achiever with a very bright future before him along with his league prowess.

Factory, which opened in 2010, said it had been”shocked” by the attack and would sack any security employees involved.

The Princess Street club is set in what was once the headquarters of the Factory Records label that represented Joy Division, New Order and Happy Mondays and The Hacienda nightclub.

A statement from Factory said:”Any security employees found to be involved will likely be terminated with immediate effect, whatever the result of any criminal investigation.

“Having viewed CCTV footage along with the video circulating on social networking, we could simply say that we’re amazed by what we have seen.”

Ch Insp Cherie Buttle explained:”Having a cell phone in everyone’s fingertips, filming something is often the first thing people think to do but please, pass on to us so that we could fully investigate this issue.”