A MAN was stabbed in the shoulder with a “cut-throat”

blade after trying to stop his friend being attacked by alleged supporters of the English Defence League who had earlier been protesting in Bolton.

A scuffle began outside the Oddfellows Arms in Oldham Road, Middleton, at about 11.30pm on Saturday.

Witnesses said EDL supporters were behaving aggressively and abusing customers.

They were asked to leave by one of the men, who escorted them outside. He was then jumped on and his friend, aged 49, intervened.

After the scuffle had ended and the two men returned inside, the victim realised he had suffered a stab wound to the back of his left shoulder by one of three men. It is believed a cut-throat type blade had been used and it is thought the men had been to the EDL rally in Bolton.

The first man was white, about 5ft 6in tall, in his late teens or early 20s, with a chunky build.

He had short black hair and was wearing a blue EDL T-shirt with “No Surrender Al-Qaeda” and an England badge on the front.

The second man was taller, with dark hair and wearing darkrimmed glasses and a light jacket. The third offender was also wearing a sweatshirt with an EDL logo.

Det Con Wayne Hagan, of Rochdale CID, said: “We need to identify these men and lock them up so they cannot hurt anyone else.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Rochdale CID on 0161 856 8437 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111