Strictly’s AJ Pritchard hails brother Curtis his ‘real life Superman’ after attack

AJ Pritchard has branded his brother Curtis a ‘real life Superman’ after eight thugs set upon them at a nightclub in Cheshire on Friday evening.

The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, took to Instagram on Monday to share a gushing post about his sibling, 22, as he reflected on the past year following the vicious attack.

Posted alongside a beaming snap of the pair, the professional dancer thanked his loyal fanbase for their support over the past week, and insisted he wants to close 2018 on a ‘super positive note. 

Support: AJ Pritchard has branded his brother Curtis a 'real life Superman' after eight thugs set upon them at a nightclub in Cheshire on Friday evening

Support: AJ Pritchard has branded his brother Curtis a 'real life Superman' after eight thugs set upon them at a nightclub in Cheshire on Friday evening

Support: AJ Pritchard has branded his brother Curtis a ‘real life Superman’ after eight thugs set upon them at a nightclub in Cheshire on Friday evening

The former Britain’s Got Talent star penned: ‘With my real life superMAN – closes 2018 on a SUPER Positive note..

‘Thank you for all the love & support over the past few days. Thank you to each & everyone of the thousands of messages we have received. 

‘Yes it is a vile situation, but honestly the love has been overwhelming…my brother is my BEST friend by choice. Happy New Year to everyone… It’s has been a Positive 2018 & will be a fantastic 2019…’, the choreographer added.

The pro dancer – who usually often on social media – has not emerged publicly since the incident, which saw him and his brother Curtis attacked in a nightclub in Nantwich, close to their family home, where both men were staying for the Christmas break.  

Reflection: The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, took to Instagram on Monday to share a gushing post about his sibling, 22, as he reflected on the past year

Reflection: The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, took to Instagram on Monday to share a gushing post about his sibling, 22, as he reflected on the past year

Reflection: The Strictly Come Dancing star, 24, took to Instagram on Monday to share a gushing post about his sibling, 22, as he reflected on the past year

Low profile: The choreographer is said to be 'beside himself with worry and anxiety' after the vicious attack

Low profile: The choreographer is said to be 'beside himself with worry and anxiety' after the vicious attack

Low profile: The choreographer is said to be ‘beside himself with worry and anxiety’ after the vicious attack

AJ is said to be ‘beside himself with worry and anxiety’ after the attack, with a source telling the Sunday Mirror: ‘AJ is so traumatised by what happened he doesn’t want to leave the house.

‘He has told friends he doesn’t understand why this has happened to him. AJ has never been targeted before and this has come out of the blue. He is beside himself with worry and anxiety.’ 

On Saturday morning messages of support flooded in from AJ’s Strictly Come Dancing co-stars, who took to social media to share their shock at the awful news and to send their best wishes to the pair.

Katya Jones, 29, led the troops, tweeting: ‘I can’t believe what happen to @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard. Sending lots of love your way. It’s Christmas people! Where is humanity going? #disappointed.’

Close: On Saturday morning, AJ saw messages of support for him and his brother Curtis flood in after they were attacked in a club on Friday night

Close: On Saturday morning, AJ saw messages of support for him and his brother Curtis flood in after they were attacked in a club on Friday night

Close: On Saturday morning, AJ saw messages of support for him and his brother Curtis flood in after they were attacked in a club on Friday night

Dianne Buswell, 29, who made it to the final in the latest season of Strictly, tweeted: ‘So sad to hear about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard hope you boys are ok xxxxxx.’

Dianne’s celebrity dance partner-turned boyfriend Joe Sugg, 27, sent his best wishes to the brothers on Twitter. 

He wrote: Saddened to hear about what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard the other night. [Fingers crossed] for a speedy recovery boys.’

Gorka Márquez was in disbelief over the horrific attack, tweeting: So disgusted at the sad news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard sending you all my love and support.   

Friends: Strictly's Dianne Buswell and Katya Jones led the stars rallying around the brothers after their horrific attack

Friends: Strictly's Dianne Buswell and Katya Jones led the stars rallying around the brothers after their horrific attack

Friends: Strictly's Dianne Buswell and Katya Jones led the stars rallying around the brothers after their horrific attack

Friends: Strictly's Dianne Buswell and Katya Jones led the stars rallying around the brothers after their horrific attack

Friends: Strictly’s Dianne Buswell and Katya Jones led the stars rallying around the brothers after their horrific attack 

Sad: Dianne, 29, who made it to the final in the latest season of Strictly, tweeted: 'So sad to hear about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard hope you boys are ok xxxxxx'

Sad: Dianne, 29, who made it to the final in the latest season of Strictly, tweeted: 'So sad to hear about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard hope you boys are ok xxxxxx'

Sad: Dianne, 29, who made it to the final in the latest season of Strictly, tweeted: ‘So sad to hear about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard hope you boys are ok xxxxxx’

Saddened: Dianne's celebrity dance partner-turned boyfriend Joe Sugg, 27, sent his best wishes to the brothers on Twitter

Saddened: Dianne's celebrity dance partner-turned boyfriend Joe Sugg, 27, sent his best wishes to the brothers on Twitter

Saddened: Dianne’s celebrity dance partner-turned boyfriend Joe Sugg, 27, sent his best wishes to the brothers on Twitter

Lovely: Stacey Dooley - who won the most recent series of Strictly - also posted a tweet, noting that she would see him on the tour in the New Year

Lovely: Stacey Dooley - who won the most recent series of Strictly - also posted a tweet, noting that she would see him on the tour in the New Year

Lovely: Stacey Dooley – who won the most recent series of Strictly – also posted a tweet, noting that she would see him on the tour in the New Year

‘EIGHT lads on two! Wtf? I hope justice is served properly. Stay strong AJ & Curtis!’

In November 2016, Gorka allegedly had two teeth broken when he was ‘battered by thugs’ following a show in Blackpool, Lancashire. 

Strictly’s Head Judge Shirley Ballas, 58, was also quick to pledge her support, writing: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with @Aj11Ace @CurtisPritchard the world has become a dangerous place, my heart is heavy for this family @bbcstrictly send strength and love.’ 

Series champion Stacey Dooley, 31, also wrote: ‘@Aj11Ace Big love darlin… see you in Jan.’ 

Supportive: Head judge Shirley Ballas also shared her support, posting a tweet on Saturday

Supportive: Head judge Shirley Ballas also shared her support, posting a tweet on Saturday

Supportive: Head judge Shirley Ballas also shared her support, posting a tweet on Saturday

Sending love: Gorka Márquez was in disbelief over the horrific attack, tweeting: 'So disgusted at the sad news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard sending you all my love and support'

Sending love: Gorka Márquez was in disbelief over the horrific attack, tweeting: 'So disgusted at the sad news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard sending you all my love and support'

Sending love: Gorka Márquez was in disbelief over the horrific attack, tweeting: ‘So disgusted at the sad news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard sending you all my love and support’

Aljaz Skorjanec, 28, was clearly emotional, furiously tweeting: ‘So upset by the news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard!! 

‘Two lovely guys that mean no harm to anyone ever!! I can not believe it. To the thugs that did that.. shall we dance???? #fuming.’ 

Giovanni Pernice, 28, raged: ‘Wtf is wrong with this people ????? Guys I’m so sorry @CurtisPritchard I’m with you all the way !! Disgusting !!!!’ followed by a string of angry face emojis. 

Katya’s husband Neil Jones, 35 tweeted: ‘Disgusting what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard and I hope they catch everyone involved.’

Former Strictly pro James Jordan, 40 detailed his thoughts on Twitter, angrily poking fun at AJ and Curtis’ attackers. 

He said: ‘My thoughts are with @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard after ‘8’ guys decided to attack them in a night club over the Christmas period.

‘So it takes 8 of you to beat up 2 of the nicest people in our business. Real tough guys! I hope Karma comes back to get you! Idiots!’ 

Upset: Aljaz Skorjanec, 28, was clearly emotional, furiously tweeting: 'So upset by the news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard!! Two lovely guys that mean no harm to anyone ever!!'

Upset: Aljaz Skorjanec, 28, was clearly emotional, furiously tweeting: 'So upset by the news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard!! Two lovely guys that mean no harm to anyone ever!!'

Upset: Aljaz Skorjanec, 28, was clearly emotional, furiously tweeting: ‘So upset by the news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard!! Two lovely guys that mean no harm to anyone ever!!’

Angry! Giovanni Pernice, 28, raged: 'Wtf is wrong with this people ????? Guys I’m so sorry @CurtisPritchard I’m with you all the way !! Disgusting !!!!' followed by angry face emojis

Angry! Giovanni Pernice, 28, raged: 'Wtf is wrong with this people ????? Guys I’m so sorry @CurtisPritchard I’m with you all the way !! Disgusting !!!!' followed by angry face emojis

Angry! Giovanni Pernice, 28, raged: ‘Wtf is wrong with this people ????? Guys I’m so sorry @CurtisPritchard I’m with you all the way !! Disgusting !!!!’ followed by angry face emojis

AJ’s celebrity partner on Strictly’s 2016 season, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 21, shared a photograph of herself with the professional dancer, along with her best wishes. 

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Former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, 33, tweeted: ‘Just heard the dreadful news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard absolutely disgusting!!! 

‘Hope they find the low lifes and put them away, what is wrong with some people!!! Sending love to the Pritchards, get well soon boys.’ 

Danny Mac, 30, who came second to Ore in Strictly in 2016, sent a heartwarming message to AJ and Curtis after the attack.

Disgusted! Katya's husband Neil Jones, 35 tweeted: 'Disgusting what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard and I hope they catch everyone involved'

Disgusted! Katya's husband Neil Jones, 35 tweeted: 'Disgusting what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard and I hope they catch everyone involved'

Disgusted! Katya’s husband Neil Jones, 35 tweeted: ‘Disgusting what happened to @Aj11Ace and his brother @CurtisPritchard and I hope they catch everyone involved’

Hoping for karma: Former Strictly pro James Jordan, 40 detailed his thoughts on Twitter, angrily poking fun at AJ and Curtis' attackers

Hoping for karma: Former Strictly pro James Jordan, 40 detailed his thoughts on Twitter, angrily poking fun at AJ and Curtis' attackers

Hoping for karma: Former Strictly pro James Jordan, 40 detailed his thoughts on Twitter, angrily poking fun at AJ and Curtis’ attackers

He wrote: ‘Sending big love and a speedy recovery out to & his bro after what happened. AJ is a top lad. Disgusted to hear about the attack. Thinking of you guys and the family.’ 

Strictly’s It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, 48, sent an emotional message to the brothers, tweeting: Sending all the love to @Aj11Ace & his brother @CurtisPritchard wishing him a speedy recovery. 

‘Horrified to hear about the brutal attack upon them & their friends. Heartbreaking.’ 

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips tweeted: ‘Totally wrong on every level to attack such kind gentle boys. So sorry that @CurtisPritchard will be unable to start work on @DWTSIRL and wishing him and @Aj11Ace speedy recovery. 

Supportive: New Strictly dancer Luba Mushtuk, 28, also sent her best wishes to the pair

Supportive: New Strictly dancer Luba Mushtuk, 28, also sent her best wishes to the pair

Supportive: New Strictly dancer Luba Mushtuk, 28, also sent her best wishes to the pair

Shocked: Strictly's Oti Mabuse, 28, sent love to the brothers after the incident 

Shocked: Strictly's Oti Mabuse, 28, sent love to the brothers after the incident 

Shocked: Strictly’s Oti Mabuse, 28, sent love to the brothers after the incident 

Best wishes: AJ's celebrity partner on Strictly's 2016 season, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 21, shared a photograph of herself with the professional dancer, along with her best wishes

Best wishes: AJ's celebrity partner on Strictly's 2016 season, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 21, shared a photograph of herself with the professional dancer, along with her best wishes

Best wishes: AJ’s celebrity partner on Strictly’s 2016 season, gymnast Claudia Fragapane, 21, shared a photograph of herself with the professional dancer, along with her best wishes

As a result of the attack, professional dancer Curtis has reportedly been forced to quit Ireland’s version of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing With The Stars Ireland.

A spokesperson for the brothers revealed that Curtis is to undergo an emergency operation to correct damage to his knee sustained during the Nantwich nightclub attack. 

Following the news of Curtis’ impending surgery, RTE told The Mirror that Curtis will not have recovered from his injuries in time for the new series of the show, which is set to begin in January. 

An RTE spokesperson told the publication: ‘Dancing with the Stars pro-dancer Curtis Pritchard was involved in an incident on 26 December 2018. 

Fuming: Former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, 33, tweeted: 'Just heard the dreadful news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard absolutely disgusting!!!'

Fuming: Former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, 33, tweeted: 'Just heard the dreadful news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard absolutely disgusting!!!'

Fuming: Former Strictly champion Ore Oduba, 33, tweeted: ‘Just heard the dreadful news about @Aj11Ace and @CurtisPritchard absolutely disgusting!!!’

Sending love: Danny Mac, 30, who came second to Ore in Strictly in 2016, sent a heartwarming message to AJ and Curtis after the attack

Sending love: Danny Mac, 30, who came second to Ore in Strictly in 2016, sent a heartwarming message to AJ and Curtis after the attack

Sending love: Danny Mac, 30, who came second to Ore in Strictly in 2016, sent a heartwarming message to AJ and Curtis after the attack

‘As a result of the injuries sustained, he will not have recovered in time for the launch of the new series, which will air 6 January 2019. 

‘A replacement for Curtis on the show is currently being arranged by ShinAwiL and we look forward to welcoming Curtis back when he recovers.’

AJ and his brother Curtis had been socialising and posing for selfies with fans before they were then set upon by eight yobs, who started to circle them. 

An eyewitness said that the attackers began to throw punches at the pair ‘like they were possessed’. 

Horrified: Strictly's It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, 48, sent an emotional message to the brothers via Twitter

Horrified: Strictly's It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, 48, sent an emotional message to the brothers via Twitter

Horrified: Strictly’s It Takes Two presenter Zoe Ball, 48, sent an emotional message to the brothers via Twitter

Sad: Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips tweeted: 'Totally wrong on every level to attack such kind gentle boys. So sorry that @CurtisPritchard will be unable to start work on @DWTSIRL'

Sad: Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips tweeted: 'Totally wrong on every level to attack such kind gentle boys. So sorry that @CurtisPritchard will be unable to start work on @DWTSIRL'

Sad: Former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips tweeted: ‘Totally wrong on every level to attack such kind gentle boys. So sorry that @CurtisPritchard will be unable to start work on @DWTSIRL’

According to the witness: ‘Curtis had fallen to his knees and was being punched in the face and body. They were also punching AJ in his face, in his ribs and legs.

‘AJ dragged Curtis out of the circle and pulled him to another part of the club.’ 

The witness said that AJ was left carrying the marks on his face from the rings the thugs wore as they struck him. Curtis is said to have appeared to have passed out in the attack. 

Curtis will need surgery in the next few days because his knee was badly injured, according to The Sun

Appealing for justice: British astrologer Russell Grant, 67, who participated in the ninth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, sent his support

Appealing for justice: British astrologer Russell Grant, 67, who participated in the ninth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, sent his support

Appealing for justice: British astrologer Russell Grant, 67, who participated in the ninth series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2011, sent his support

Saddened: Strictly newcomer Graziano Di Prima, 24, tweeted his disbelief

Saddened: Strictly newcomer Graziano Di Prima, 24, tweeted his disbelief

Saddened: Strictly newcomer Graziano Di Prima, 24, tweeted his disbelief

A spokesman for the Pritchard brothers, who come from nearby Stoke and were visiting their parents over Christmas, said: ‘AJ and Curtis were assaulted in an unprovoked attack.

‘Curtis is to undergo an emergency operation to correct damage to his knee. AJ received bruising to his face, arms, body and legs.’

Police said four people were taken to hospital for treatment but had all since been discharged. 

A spokesman said: ‘Officers arrested a 20-year-old man from Crewe on suspicion of assault. He has been released under investigation pending further inquiries.’ 

Strictly pro: AJ narrowly missed out on a place in the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 finale when he and his partner Lauren Steadman were knocked out of the competition at the last hurdle

Strictly pro: AJ narrowly missed out on a place in the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 finale when he and his partner Lauren Steadman were knocked out of the competition at the last hurdle

Strictly pro: AJ narrowly missed out on a place in the Strictly Come Dancing 2018 finale when he and his partner Lauren Steadman were knocked out of the competition at the last hurdle

AJ made it to the semi-finals in this year’s BBC series of Strictly, with his celebrity partner, paralympian Lauren Steadman, 25. 

His brother Curtis appears in the Irish version of Strictly Come Dancing.  

AJ is currently preparing his first ever solo tour, Titled Get On The Floor!, set for an eight-date run in 2019. 

He rose to fame in 2013 as a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent, alongside partner Chloe Hewitt. He later joined Strictly, again working each year with a dance partner. 

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