A HERO who was stabbed as he saved his friend from being mugged has described the moment he was attacked with a 'sword'.

Alex Train spent three days in hospital after the terrifying assault in Witney town centre at just after 1am on Monday.

The 28-year-old was stabbed in the stomach as he hauled his friend, Asa Higgs, off the floor when he was cornered by two men on Ducklington Lane.

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Mr Train escaped serious injury and is now recovering at home, while police yesterday continued to hunt for his attackers.

The friends had spent the evening in The Hollybush pub on Corn Street and had just gone their separate ways when Mr Higgs was targeted.

The Oxford Times:

The junction of Corn Street and Ducklington Lane, where the attack happened.

Mr Train said: "They had him on the floor trying to mug him and telling him to give up his phone and wallet.

"At that point, I ran up shouting and one guy pulled a sword out from his trousers - it was bigger than a normal knife.

"I didn't think he was going to use it, as carrying a knife that large would surely just be to scare people.

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"I approached them and pulled Asa up off the floor, then one stabbed me in the side and they ran away."

The mechanical design engineer first spotted the two men opposite the Stagecoach bus depot on Corn Street and feared he was being followed.

At the nearby roundabout, Mr Train walked a different way home to his friend, but became worried for Mr Higgs's safety after losing sight of the men.

The Oxford Times:

Mr Train and his girlfriend Kitty.

He doubled back on himself to find his friend in trouble and instinct took over in the minutes that followed.

Mr Train: "I knew I'd been stabbed. It was obvious pain, like a puncture.

"The first thing on my mind was to get to safety and call an ambulance.

"Neither of us had any battery on our phones so I put pressure on the wound and ran home. It was the only option.

"I was just doing a friendly action. I hope someone would do the same for me."

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Mr Higgs was unharmed and no items were stolen.

The lifelong Witney resident, who lives nearby with his grandparents, phoned 999 when he got home and Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service arrived within minutes.

Mr Train, a former Henry Box School pupil, was fortunate that the blade missed his vital organs, although it did graze his colon.

He was taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, but did not need surgery or even stitching, with bandages protecting the wound instead.

The Oxford Times:

He said: "I was wearing a thick coat so that helped. It was complete luck and could have been so much worse."

Mr Train, a musician who is lead singer and a guitarist in the band Quartermelon, left hospital on Wednesday evening and is signed off work at Witney-based GSM automotives for two weeks.

His grandad, Charles Train, revealed he had 'never seen anything like' the incident in his 48 years in Witney.

He said: "Alex has never been in any trouble and neither have most of his friends.

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"It's unbelievable that something like this could happen in Witney. Friends our age can't believe it.

"The attackers could have killed someone."

Investigating officer detective constable Oliver Harrison, of Force CID based at Banbury police station, previously said he believed the attack was an 'isolated incident'.

Police are appealing for witnesses and have described both attackers as Asian, in their mid-twenties and about 5ft 10ins to 6ft.

They were both wearing dark clothing, one with their hood up, with one carrying a knife.

The force wants to hear from anyone with dash-cam footage from the area between 12.45am and 1.15am, while officers have been making house-to-house enquiries and reviewing CCTV footage.

If you have any information, call 101, quoting reference number 43190113108, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.