Observer’s Phil Hewitt stabbed in South Africa

Phil at the launch of one of his books two years ago. He is currently visiting a friend in South Africa, where the attack happened

Phil at the launch of one of his books two years ago. He is currently visiting a friend in South Africa, where the attack happened

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The dream of finally seeing England play cricket abroad quickly turned into a nightmare for the Observer’s entertainments editor in a brutal stabbing in South Africa.

Phil Hewitt had just watched a match in Cape Town when he was attacked. He was stabbed twice in the leg before being beaten on the ground, causing him severe bruising and two broken ribs.

A picture of the injuries to his left leg

A picture of the injuries to his left leg

“Watching England play cricket in Cape Town in surely the most beautiful ground anywhere on the planet was a truly wonderful experience that went beyond all my wildest dreams,” Phil, 51, said via email.

“It really didn’t matter that England lost because I was there and (it was) fulfilment of a long held ambition to see England play cricket abroad.”

Phil said he got lost whilst walking home a man ‘suddenly launched at him’, demanding he hand over his camera.

“Stupidly I resisted and his reaction was to thump me in the upper and lower leg left leg and push me into the ground, where we tussled. “At least they felt like punches.

Phil required a number of stitches to his leg and suffered two broken ribs in the attack

Phil required a number of stitches to his leg and suffered two broken ribs in the attack

“When he started kicking my leg, I saw it was streaming with blood, he had stabbed me.

“He also kicked me in back and stomach while I was on the ground.”

Phil required 11 stitches for the two deep stab wounds, one of which swelled up with a haematoma.

He was also left with extensive bruising to his back and shoulders and two broken ribs.

He is now recovering and being monitored by doctors for liver damage.

Phil, the Observer’s long-standing entertainments editor, is visiting good friend and former Etc Magazine founder Tony Jackman.

Despite his horrific attack, he added: “The upshot is that I have since been on the right end of the most astonishing kindness.

“I was picked up by a lovely pizza delivery guy in a car. He even took his pizza sign off the roof so he could break every red light to get me to the hospital quicker.

“And the docs and nurses have been outstanding.”

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