Bouncers from Manchester’s Factory 251 nightclub are being investigated after an 18-year-old rugby league player was assaulted outside the club.
St Helens academy player Joe Sharratt suffered a serious head injury and is in a stable condition in hospital.
His mother Jane Sharratt reportedly said he had a bleed on the brain but he was now “sitting up and talking”.
A social media video shows Mr Sharratt thrown to the ground before door staff repeatedly punch his friend.
Greater Manchester Police has appealed for witnesses to the attack at 03:20 GMT on Sunday.
Mr Sharratt had played for Lancashire Academy against Australian Schoolboys just 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 our Academy system.
“He is a top academic achiever with a very bright future ahead of him alongside his rugby league prowess.“
Factory, which opened in 2010, said it was “shocked” by the attack and would sack any security personnel involved.
The Princess Street club is housed 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 personnel found to be involved will be terminated with immediate effect, regardless of the outcome of any criminal investigation.
“Having viewed CCTV footage and the video circulating on social media, we can only say that we are shocked by what we have seen.”
Ch Insp Cherie Buttle said: “With a mobile phone at everyone’s fingertips, filming something is often the first thing people think to do but please, pass this on to us so we can fully investigate this matter.”