A HAVE-A-GO hero who tried to intervene in a bus stop row over a can of Irn Bru had his cheekbone smashed in a savage attack.
Malcolm Brown, 66, was waiting with his wife and two friends on the city’s Western Approach Road when he noticed a youth trying to force another person to take a drink.
When he tried to defuse the situation, he was set upon after the Englishman was racially abused and called a “f****** English b******”
His tracksuit wearing attacker punched him in the face, fracturing his cheekbone, The pensioner, who needed an operation to mend his face, said he had never heard such foul language in “all my life” – despite being a former sailor.
Mr Brown, who moved to Edinburgh from Hull 47 years ago and lives in Baberton Mains, said: “This young hooligan was annoying another guy, saying to him ‘Do you want a sip of my Irn-Bru? Want some of my Irn-Bru?’ and bothering him.
“The guy just wanted to be left alone, so I told the lad to crawl back into his hole. But then he started effing and blinding,
“I was a seafarer during my time and I’ve heard some colourful language, but nothing like that.
“When he was threatening me I told him ‘I’m going to stand here and let you, lad’ but I made the mistake of turning at one point and he hit my cheekbone and chin.
“It took me a couple of seconds to register what had happened, but when I did I went for him and got the boy by the scruff. There were around 30 people at the bus stop and they said to just leave it. A woman told the lad to shut up, and he did, he just started playing with his mobile.”
He added: “Because I was in shock I didn’t feel much, it was numb more than anything else. Then ten days later I ran my finger around my left eye, then ran it along my right eye and felt a ridge. I thought it didn’t feel right so I went to the hospital and they told me my cheek was fractured.
“Last Friday I had an operation at St John’s, so it’s fixed now.
“I’ve had a little bit of racism in my time but absolutely nothing like that. I’ve lived in Edinburgh longer than the lad.”
Mr Brown and his wife, Ann, also 66, had been to see a performance of China’s Three Tenors opera at the Usher Hall on August 3 before they walked to the bus stop in Edinburgh’s West Approach Road to catch the number 33.
Shortly before 10pm he was struck by the thug, who was wearing a white hoodie, white tracksuit bottoms and white trainers and was holding the can of drink.
Mr Brown said: “There were a lot of people at the bus stop, so if anybody who saw anything could come forward, that would be nice. It really was disgusting. He used such foul language. Comments like that are rare, but he was a little hooligan.”
Police are urging anyone who witnessed this attack to come forward. Officers are particularly keen to speak with two elderly women who later boarded a double-decker bus at the same time as the thug and were at the bus stop at the time of the assault.
Detective Sergeant Dave Pinkney said: “The victim, who is English, stepped in to prevent other people at the bus stop being harassed by the suspect and has suffered a painful injury to his face as a result.
“We are now keen to speak with anyone who was in the queue at the time and remembers seeing this confrontation.
“Similarly, anyone with any other information, or who can help us identify the male responsible is asked to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with any information can contact police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.