An Albion fan who was stabbed in Rome says the attack will not stop him following his club at home or away.

Jack Stephenson was taken to hospital after he and his friends were ambushed by a gang of six men wearing all black clothes and balaclavas late on Wednesday night.

He needed ten stitches in his leg where he was knifed three times and spent 13 hours in an emergency department in a Rome hospital.

But after finding a crutch, Jack made it to the Stadio Olimpico for Thursday night's game, to the delight of thousands of fellow Albion fans in the away end who chanted his name.

He said he will be in his seat in the West Stand Upper at the Amex on Sunday to watch the Seagulls against Nottingham Forest and maintain his 100 per cent attendance record this season.

The Argus: Jack, left, with Andrew at the Stadio OlimpicoJack, left, with Andrew at the Stadio Olimpico (Image: Jack Stephenson)

Jack, 27, from Portslade, said: “My feeling is that they were Roma fans but the police weren’t sure if they were or if they were criminals.

“I have been to hundreds of football games and never had anything like that. We had a bit of trouble in Marseille but they were quite happy to just walk away and do nothing.

“We were all a bit shook up but not deterred at all. I won’t be rushing back to Rome though.

“I’ll be at the Amex for Forest and the home leg. I’m not losing my 100 per cent attendance record this season.”

'They came from behind and threw me on the floor - I don't remember being stabbed'

Jack said he and his friends arrived in the Italian capital on Tuesday before going to a few Irish bars and later took in the sights, visiting the Vatican and the Colosseum on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday night they went to a bar and left around midnight.

The Argus: Police in Rome ahead of the gamePolice in Rome ahead of the game (Image: The Argus)

It was then, as they were walking along Via Cavour in the centre of Rome, that they were attacked.

He said: “They came from behind and threw me to the floor. They kicked me in the face against a wall.

“At some point they stabbed me three times. I don’t remember being stabbed and didn’t feel it for quite a while.

“A restaurant pulled us in. I was walking around apologising to people for ruining their meals when I looked at my leg and it was just seeping blood.”

Jack said that an ambulance was called – but the first one crashed into a bollard and so they had to call a second.

He was taken to hospital where he was X-rayed and stitched up. He said he spent 13 hours on a hospital bed.

His friend Andrew Le Goubin, who was also stabbed in the leg twice, was taken to a separate hospital.

While Andrew, 26, was robbed of his wallet and passport, Jack lost his hat and one of his shoes.

'It was really nice of people who were happy to see me, it’s really nice to have that reaction'

Jack said the attack has not deterred him from following Albion home and away.

After being discharged from hospital and finding a crutch, Jack made his way to the Stadio Olimpico where he was greeted by cheers and chants from the travelling fans.

Jack has been to every Seagulls game this season, including all three previous Europa League away days in Albion’s first foray into the competition.

The Argus: Simon Adingra, left, and Lewis Dunk, right, fight for the ball from Romelu LukakuSimon Adingra, left, and Lewis Dunk, right, fight for the ball from Romelu Lukaku (Image: AP Photo/ Alessandra Tarantino)

He stressed that he and his friends were not wearing club colours and had not been singing or chanting.

He also praised Albion for their response to the incident as well as the British Consulate, restaurant Cuoco and Camicia, whose staff went to his aid, and the community of Albion supporters.

He said: “I stand by that I don’t think we were doing anything wrong. We hadn’t been going mental and we weren’t singing songs or wearing colours.

“We don’t go looking for trouble, we keep ourselves to ourselves.

“In Athens every single AEK Athens fan was so friendly, and even in Marseille they never attacked us.

“Italian police said that because a couple of us were wearing Stone Island jackets they [the group that attacked them] may have thought we were fair game.

“It was really nice of people who were happy to see me, it’s really nice to have that reaction.

“I got a bit embarrassed by it. A lot of people messaged me and genuinely really cared if I was OK.

“The club were really good. The head of security came to the hospital to check on me. I’m really pleased with the club’s reaction.”

Albion fans also reported having coins, lighters and bottles thrown at them from the home end during the game against AS Roma, which Albion lost 4-0.

Roma will visit Brighton next Thursday for the home leg of the knockout tie.

Sussex Police said there will be an “increased presence” in the city for the match but that arrangements will be the same as other Europa League fixtures this season.