A GRANDFATHER was chased through a park and punched in the face in an unprovoked attack.

Fifty-three-year-old William McMullan had to have seven stitches in his face after the attack in Queen's Park in Blackburn.

Police believe it may have been a racially motivated assault.

Mr McMullan had been taking a short cut through the park on his way home from work in Burnley Road when he was approached by a gang of Asian youths at about 7.20pm.

They started hurling racist abuse at the haulage firm worker, but Mr McMullan said he tried to ignore the four young men.

However they continued to pursue him as he walked near the football pitch in the park.

One of the men then grabbed his scarf forcing him to turn around and punching him in the face and to the side of the head.

Mr McMullan, managed to free himself from the gang and ran out of the park to his home in nearby Lytham Road, Highercroft, before alerting police.

The grandfather-of-six, who lives with his wife Elizabeth, 54, suffered severe bruising to his face and had to have stitches inside his mouth at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

He said: "I have walked through that park hundreds of times before and I am still really shocked.

"I was trying my best to avoid them but they just kept shouting at me and before I knew what was happening I was being attacked.

"It was only when I ran out of the park that I realised that I was bleeding."

Police are appealing for witnesses and have released descriptions of the attackers.

The first man is between 17 to 22 years old, of medium build, clean shaven, with short black hair and 5ft 8ins tall.

The second attacker had a North West accent, he was of stocky build with dyed blonde hair.

The other two men were of medium build and were wearing casual dress.

A spokesperson for the Lancashire Constabulary said: "We are looking into the possibility that this was a racially motivated attack."

Anyone with information about the incident on Monday should call the police on 0845 125 3545 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.