A man has been arrested in connection with an unprovoked attack on a soldier who was celebrating his homecoming from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
David Grout, 22, was with his family at the Eston Institute club, in Teesside, on Tuesday evening when he became involved in an argument with two men, police said. The incident happened when Signalman Grout left the social club to go outside for a cigarette.
He was taken to James Cook University Hospital suffering from serious head injuries.
His condition remained "critical" last night, and his family were at his bedside.
A 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Cleveland Police said: "A local man has been arrested after he made contact with police following an appeal for information."
The signaller, who serves with the Royal Signals Regiment, had recently returned from Helmand province.