A SAINTS player has been arrested in connection with an assault at a popular Southampton nightspot.

Striker Lee Barnard is one of four men being questioned by police after violence erupted at the White House in the early hours of yesterday.

Officers found a 27-year-old man unconscious with serious head injuries when they were called to the club in Above Bar Street at around 2.45am. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he remains.

The Daily Echo understands that Barnard was given bail on the spot because he needed hospital treatment for a hand injury.

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Onlookers described how about 20 men were involved in the fighting which left the club’s door staff covered in blood.

An estimated 250 people were inside the nightspot, which has a late licence until 3am.

Barnard, 26, signed for Southampton Football Club from Southend United for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £175,000 in January.

He has scored two goals this season including the winner against Sheffield Wednesday in September.

Many Saints fans rated him man of the match in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth at St Mary’s on Saturday.

A police spokesman said last night: “Police were called at around 2.45am today to reports that a man had been assaulted outside a bar in Southampton.

“Officers attended the scene outside White House; a 27-yearold man had suffered head injuries and was unconscious.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital.

“Four men aged 31, 26, 26 and 25, were arrested by police on suspicion of assault. Three remain in custody this morning.

One of the 26-year-olds was street bailed and taken to hospital with an injury to his hand.

He is due to answer bail on October 6.”

Detectives believe the assault took place inside the club and have launched an appeal for witnesses.

Anyone with information should contact Shirley CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Nobody at Southampton Football Club or the White House was available for comment.

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