A DAD has been left with a smashed cheekbone and eye socket after being attacked by a gang of youths as he walked home from a night out with his teenage son.
John Ferguson, 47, was set upon by seven yobs during the unprovoked beating outside the Royal British Legion club in Longniddry – and now needs surgery to repair his face.
Son Andrew, 18, sustained a black eye as he tried to protect his dad during the ambush just after midnight on Sunday.
Police have launched a hunt for the thugs, while village leaders condemned the savage incident.
John and Andrew had enjoyed a few quiet pints at the club on Saturday night before leaving the Elcho Road venue at around midnight.
They were suddenly confronted by the seven men, who – without any provocation – began kicking and punching architect John.
Andrew tried to fend off the gang, but was left powerless after receiving a painful blow.
John’s wife Louise, 42, today told how she was woken by a call from her son revealing that he and his dad were in an ambulance on their way to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
She said: “I was shocked and couldn’t understand what was going on at first – it’s very upsetting.
“Andrew said that they left the club to return home when they came across this gang of youths and the next minute all hell broke loose.
“John was punched to the ground and they then began kicking him. Andrew tried to help his dad and was punched in the face.”
John now faces the prospect of further surgery, and Louise revealed her husband has no memory of the attack.
She said: “John doesn’t remember much about the attack at all. He’s very badly bruised and swollen and must undergo an operation at St John’s in Livingston to repair his cheekbone and eye socket.
“Andrew and my other sons go out in Edinburgh all the time and you worry about them and this type of thing – you don’t expect it to happen in a wee sleepy place like Longniddry, though.”
Such a violent incident has stunned locals in the quiet East Lothian village.
Local councillor Steven Brown said: “I’m very sad to hear of this happening in Longniddry. Of all the places in East Lothian for something like this to happen you would never pick Longniddry, it’s a very quiet spot.
“You have to wonder about seven guys setting about just one. He sustained fairly serious injuries but it really could have been a lot worse, or possibly even fatal.
“I hope the police soon catch up with the guys who carried out this attack.”
Police have now made an appeal for witnesses and information to help them track down the seven yobs.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in East Lothian are investigating after two men were assaulted by a group of males in Longniddry.
“The incident happened around 12.15am on Sunday outside the British Legion Club, on Elcho Road.
“A 47-year-old sustained a facial injury and was taken to the Royal Infirmary where he was released after treatment. Another man suffered a minor injury.
“Inquiries into the full circumstances surrounding this attack are ongoing and anyone who can assist officers with their investigation is asked to come forward immediately.”