Man charged with murder over fatal one-punch attack on Melbourne teen

Caity Stone and Mel Buttigieg

A 33-year-old man has been charged with murder following a fatal one-punch attack on young Melbourne footballer Patrick Cronin.

Homicide detectives on Monday released images of a man they wished to speak with after Cronin died from injuries suffered during a pub brawl.

Patrick Cronin, 19, was struck in the back of the head outside the Windy Mile in Diamond Creek at 11pm on Saturday, where he was celebrating his first senior game with the Lower Plenty Bears.

It is believed the Eltham teenager suffered a critical head injury while trying to help a friend.

Detectives released CCTV images in an appeal for information about Mr Cronin's death  Photo: Victoria Police
Detectives released CCTV images in an appeal for information about Mr Cronin's death Photo: Victoria Police

Patrick returned to a house in Happy Valley Rise in Diamond Creek, where paramedics were called shortly after.

He was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition and put on life support.

Footy player died after being put on life support following one punch assault. Source: 7 News.
Footy player died after being put on life support following one punch assault. Source: 7 News.

The young man's father Matt Cronin confirmed his death at 2.30pm Monday in a statement on behalf of the family, saying his son's organs would be donated.

"It is with the heaviest of heaviest of hearts that we have just said goodbye to our beautiful boy Patrick John Cronin," he said.

"We have been overwhelmed with the love our son, and brother, has been shown and it proves to us that he has touched so many people with his wonderful nature.

"As with his whole life he has put others ahead of himself and leaves us an absolute hero and star. We take some comfort in the knowledge that Pat was able to donate his organs and help others in need.

"Our hearts are broken but he will forever be in our hearts and he will be the one to get us through this."

It's believed up to 30 people were involved in the brawl, with numerous broken bottles smashed on the gravel nearby.

Patrick staggered away from the fight and started walking home.

7 News understands he phoned his mum to say he wasn't feeling well.

When she arrived to pick him up, he'd already collapsed.

"Patrick's never been in a fight in his life. He's not that kind of kid," Lower Plenty Football Club president Grant Barden told Fairfax Media.

"He's tried to drag his friend out of the fight, but then someone's come up behind him. We heard he was king-hit. That's all we know."

Friends and family took to social media to grieve for their friend facing the fight to stay alive.

The football player died after a post-match night out ended in violent one punch assault. Source: 7 News.
The football player died after a post-match night out ended in violent one punch assault. Source: 7 News.

Patrick has been described as a "beautiful boy" and a ripping kid by his friends.

The Homicide Squad is investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

News break – April 18