The teenage victim of a brutal race hate attack called his parents to say Im dying, I love you before the line went dead as he lay seriously injured in the street.
Rugby player Matthew Hayden, 17, was left with a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain after being mowed down by a car and hit over the head with a golf club in the unprovoked assault in Rochdale on Saturday.
Today, a 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of section 18 assault in connection with the attack. He remains in police custody for questioning.
Matthews parents, who asked not to be named, have now made an emotional appeal for information and revealed more details about the shocking incident.
They say that after Matthew was hit with the golf club, the driver of the car – a Nissan Micra – tried to run him over a second time.
Despite his injuries, he managed to roll away into a driveway.
Matthews parents thanked brave nurses from a nearby care home who they believe saved their sons life by giving him first aid.
Matthews mum said: We got the call that every parent never wants to get. Matthew rang us saying he was dying. He said I love you, but Im going,
then his phone cut off and we didnt even know where he was.
A black Nissan Micra rammed into the back of a Vauxhall Corsa, in which Matthew was a passenger, at a roundabout on Smithy Bridge Road near Hollingworth Lake.
When Matthew, a prop forward who plays for Littleborough RUFC, got out of the Corsa, he was hit by the Micra, flipping him over the bonnet and roof.
He was then attacked with a nine iron.
Matthews friend and fellow rugby player Josh Jones, 18, who was driving the Corsa, suffered injuries to his hand and his face when another one ofthe offenders smashed the car window with a metal object, believed to be a crowbar.
Another friend, Zac Madden, who was a passenger in the car, managed to escape unharmed.
Police, who are treating the incident as a hate crime, said that during the attack the group of four or five Asian males hurled racial abuse at Matthew and his friends.
The day before the attack, Matthew, an engineering apprentice from Milnrow in Rochdale, learned he had been accepted on a four-year rugby scholarship at a American university.
He wont be able to accept the offer following the attack – and he may never play rugby again.
Matthews dad said: He had promising rugby career in front of him and they have taken his hopes and dreams away from him.
They have ruined a young mans life for mindless violence. Matthew is just so frustrated. He knows what they have done. He told us “theyve ruined my life”.
After the call cut out a nurse called us back.
We got to him as quickly as we could and it was just horrendous. There was blood everywhere.
There were three nurses looking after him, giving him first aid. They were very brave, we owe them so much.
Matthew, an engineering apprentice, underwent an emergency four-hour operation on Saturday at Salford Royal Hospital.
He now faces a long and uncertain road to recovery.
His dad said: Its been horrendous for all the family. Matthew is in a serious condition and we are just taking it day-by-day.
Hes lost the use of his left arm and hand. Hes lost the feeling in the left side of his face. His speech is slurred. Hes having to drink through a straw.
We dont know how long hes going to be in hospital for or what the long-term is going to be like.
His mum added: Matthew is the most caring and kind person you could ever want to meet. He is such a lovely lad. He cannot understand why someone
would do this to anyone.
Im trying to stay positive because I cannot accept hes not going to make a full recovery and Matthew has to believe the same.
His parents also pleaded for anyone with information about the attack to come forward.
Matthews dad said: Matthew and Josh are just two ordinary lads who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I would appeal to anybody who saw anything that evening or that afternoon to call the police, even if its just the slightest little thing it may be the piece of the jigsaw needed.
We just pray that no other family has to sit here giving an interview like we are doing today, because next time, and there will be a next time if theyre not caught, somebody could be killed.
Matthews parents also thanked the police, Littleborough RUFC and Matthews friends for their incredible support.
Det Sgt Andrew Dixon said: We have received an excellent response from the public in relation to this attack and we hope this will continue.
The 17-year-old victim has undergone surgery and his family are supporting him as his hopes and dreams to be a professional rugby player hang in the balance.