THESE are the horrific injuries suffered by a popular non-league footballer who was viciously attacked on a night out in Hampshire.

Blackfield and Langley midfielder Joe Bye was just millimetres from being blinded after his head was smashed into a glass during a night out in a casino.

So deep were the slashes to his face the 24-year-old feared he had lost his eye as he was rushed to hospital, where he underwent major surgery to stitch his face back together.

Thankfully, the glass just missed penetrating his eye, saving his sight, but the builder from Bursledon will be left scarred for life.

Joe had been out with friends in Gunwharf Quays, Ports-mouth, when they headed to the Grosvenor Casino.

Within minutes of arriving, an argument broke out between one of his friends and a stranger, and when Joe tried to get in between the two to break it up, his head was slammed into a glass on a table.

With blood everywhere, his friends called an ambulance and he was taken to the Queen Alexand-ra Hospital in Cosham, where surgeons spent three hours carefully repairing the damage, leaving him with more than 60 stitches in his face.

Joe, who is a former Portsmouth Youth and AFC Totton player, is now back at home recovering but will be unable to go back to work or get back on the pitch for the foreseeable future, to ensure his wounds do not get infected.

Joe, whose dad Andy Bye used to manage New Milton Town, said: “I was in total shock. My face just smashed into the glass and it was all over my face.

“I was just trying to calm the situation down and then all of a sudden there was blood everywhere.

“I am just really lucky that I have still got my eye because when it all happened I feared I would be left blind.

“So I don’t want to get down about it, I’m determined to stay positive and focus on the fact I still have my sight.

“It is going to be tough not working or playing again this season, but I just have to take every day as it comes because if the wounds get infected, that could cause even more problems.

“I’ve had great support from my friends and family, so would like to thank them and especially Ash Vickers, my manager at Blackfield and Langley, who has been sound.”

A 33-year-old man from Havant has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and has been bailed until May 21.

Any witnesses to the incident, which happened in the early hours of Good Friday, should call Portsmouth CID at Fratton police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.