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The family of a 17-year-old boy left brain-damaged after being brutally beaten with a hammer by a group of men are appealing for help to find his attackers.

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Luke Back spent four months in hospitals after he and a friend were ambushed by around ten men in their mid-to-late 20s outside Upminster Recreation Ground, in Corbets Tey Road, on December 17.

Luke, from Hornchurch, sustained a serious head injury and was air-lifted to the Royal London Hospital, in Whitechapel, east London, where he lay in a coma until Christmas eve.

The gang had also tired to knee-cap the youngster.

Dad, Steven Back, said: “Luke’s got brain damage at the front of his brain but doctors said he should make a full recovery because he’s only young.

“The police and the doctors didn’t expect him to survive.

“When we got to see him, I couldn’t recognise him, his face was black and blue; I broke down.”

The former Hall Mead School student underwent an emergency four-hour operation in the Royal London on the day of the attack.

It was followed by prolonged rehabilitation in Homerton Hospital, in Hackney, east London.

He is awaiting a second operation to insert a titanium plate to replace a part of his smashed skull which could not be saved.

“Luke came home three weeks ago but he can’t remember anything from the attack,” Steven said. “I just want these people caught before they do it to someone else.

“He’s a changed lad.”

Steven, a former fish porter at Billingsgate Market, is organising a charity football match, at Herongate Athletic Football Club, in Billercay Road, Herongate, Brentwood, on June 2, to raise money for the air ambulance charity.

He will charge £1 for programmes and there will be a bar and food available. The match starts at 10.45am.

Anyone with information should contact Havering Police on 101.

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