A LANDSCAPE gardener who suffered a brain haemorrhage after being assaulted on a night out is back on his feet with plans to brighten up his community.

Mark Collier, from Golborne, was out in Ashton-in-Makerfield with his friend Adam Buckley in June 2018 after watching England's World Cup opening group game 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

Shortly after the match finished they were both assaulted by Dominic McPherson, of St James Grove, Poolstock in an attack in which Mark was knocked unconscious and suffered a brain haemorrhage.

In August at Bolton Crown Court, 22-year-old McPherson was given a suspended sentence and community service order for two charges; wounding without intent and assault.

Mark, 30, said: "I woke up from the attack the following morning at around 7am in hospital and a doctor told me nine out of 10 people do not wake up after what I had just gone through.

"I am one of the lucky ones.

"Mentally I lost the will to do anything.

"I could not leave the house for six months on my own unless I really had to.

"I was scared to do anything. It was tough."

Leigh Journal:

Mark with his fiancee Hayley Melling and their baby Toby

As well as suffering physical and mental damage, Mark lost out financially as he recovered from his injuries.

He said: "I was a self-employed garden landscaper before the attack and after it happened I lost around £9,000 through contracts at different places such as pubs in Leigh."

During his recovery, green-fingered Mark grew thousands of plants in his back garden, which encouraged him to open a plant nursery.

It was a dream his mum had held so she could work there when she retired and one he always said he would fulfil.

He has also been getting involved in community events and raising awareness for people who suffer with mental health conditions such as depression.

The events, such as Let's Get Together, which took place on Golborne's Peter Kane Square in June, and working with children's groups such as scouts, have helped him too.

And in July, Mark was able to go back to work as a landscape gardener in an experienced team which includes his friend Adam, dad Dave and Kieron Bryan.

He is now set to open a plant nursery at the back of the Red Lion pub in Newburgh, Lancashire, in April, sharing the site’s car park with an animal sanctuary.

Leigh Journal:

Mark with Toby

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Mark said: "Through the support of the local community I have been able to get back on my feet.

"I just try and think positively and I am appreciating I have got a second chance."

Mark has also helped to brighten Golborne up by donating gardening features such as hanging baskets around the town.

His personal life is blossoming as well. He and his fiancee Hayley Melling, who have a six-month old son Toby, are set to get married in May.

For more information about Mark's business visit thebloominnursery.co.uk.