A man was nearly paralysed after he was stabbed in the neck with a screwdriver in an award-winning family pub.
Rob Butler, 22, was enjoying a dinnertime drink with family at the JD Wetherspoon pub when he got in an argument with a fellow reveller.
The man left the Royal Hop Pole in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire – named Quality Pub of the Year last year – but returned armed with a knife and a screwdriver.
Families watched in horror as he lunged at Rob, plunging the tool into his neck narrowly missing a major artery.
Handyman Rob, from Suffolk, said: “I’m really angry about the whole thing. I was in the pub for one pint, to see my sister. I was due to go round to my nan’s for tea.
“This guy said something about me being a farmer boy and asked me what my problem was. You don’t say things like that in Tewkesbury.
“So I swore back at him and told him to leave it out because it’s Christmas.
“He went away for five minutes and came back with a knife and a screwdriver.
“He came at me from behind and it was only when I said ‘he’s trying to stab me’, that people realised what was going on.
“I was in fear of my life. He didn’t try to punch me, he tried to stab me. He went straight for my neck and tried to stab me in the back.
“I’m born and bred in Tewkesbury and my family knows everybody.
“Nobody knows who this person is. It’s a small town.”
Girlfriend Joanne Drake, 40, who witnessed the attack, added: “He had an emergency operation to combat the swelling inside.
“The knife just missed a blood vessel – he could have been paralysed on the left-hand side.
“I haven’t stopped shaking since. It’s a family pub, there were children in there.”
Gloucestershire Police is investigating the incident which happened at around 6pm on Saturday (28).
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “This was a terrible incident and our thoughts are with the injured man and his family.
“The pub has been run by the same management couple from the day it opened, and it is well regarded as a well-run and safe pub to visit.
“Fortunately, incidents like this are very rare indeed.
“The pub managers and the company itself will assist the police with their enquiries and hand over any CCTV footage which will assist them.”