A soldier recently home from a tour of Afghanistan was in a critical condition today after an unprovoked attack in the street, police said.
The 22-year-old, who was earlier socialising with relatives, was assaulted near the Eston Institute in Eston, Teesside, at around 6.40pm yesterday.
He was confronted by two men, one of whom punched him to the floor, causing serious head injuries.
The soldier was taken to James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, where his condition was "critical", and his family were at his bedside, Cleveland Police said.
Detectives want to speak to two white men seen running from the area. They were in their early 20s, and one wore a white tracksuit while the other had a grey hoodie and white tracksuit bottoms.
Anyone with information should call Detective Sergeant Paul Husband on 01642 302626.