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Bash victim fears for footy future
The West Australian

A promising young Perth footballer who lost partial sight in one eye after being bashed on Rottnest Island says memories of that night are always in the back of his mind.

Harry McCracken, whose anxiety was such in the aftermath of the attack he had to sleep with the light on for a week, spoke about his ordeal to highlight the consequences of his attackers' actions.

"I want people to understand how serious this can be," he said.

The 18-year-old was on holiday and walking home from popular Pinkies beach with friends last month when they were stopped by a group of men who accused the friends of following them.

"I'd never seen any of them before," Harry told _The Weekend West. _ "They just blocked our path and I remember pretty suddenly one of them attacked (my friend) and that was pretty much the last thing I remember."

Harry had been hit by a vodka bottle, which had fractured his eye socket and canal and caused damage to the optic nerve. He awoke to the frightening realisation he could no longer see clearly out of his right eye.

Sitting in his parents' Scarborough home a month later, Harry recalls "freaking out a bit" at the time.

The keen footballer - he played for Claremont Colts last year, had hoped to be elevated to the Claremont league team this year and potentially turn a good season into an AFL draft - is now waiting to learn how much of his sight will be lost.

For the past month he has suffered from anxiety, bad vision and headaches. He said he worried about how his vision loss would hurt his on-field performance and memories of the attack were in the back of his mind when he went out with friends.

Parents Aaron and Shiralle said it was "sickening" to get the call that their youngest son had been injured.

"It was one of those things you read about that happens to other people," Mr McCracken said. "At the time we didn't realise it was quite as bad as it was."

Mr and Mrs McCracken said they hoped going public with Harry's story could help identify those responsible.

A WA Police spokesman said investigations were continuing and one person had been interviewed.