A FORMER Echo delivery boy turned political commentator is appealing for help to trace a man who helped save his life as a teenager.

In his biography Radical, Maajid Nawaz talks about his life growing up in Southend and the racism he faced, being from a British Pakistani family, but one horrific incident shaped his life forever.

When he was 15-years-old, Maajid was beaten by vicious racists when a Good Samaritan, who he believes may have been called Matt, stepped in.

Maajid, who is now a presenter on LBC radio, believes the attack happened in August 1993, outside the Chalkwell Fair in London Road.

Describing the attack in his book, he said the man, who he knows only as Matt, tried to pacify the situation much to the anger of his attackers.

Maajid said: “What happened next will haunt me ‘til my dying day. In sudden horror, mixed with perverse relief, I watched as the skinheads swivelled their attention to Matt instead.

“Like famished hyenas, they descended upon him, plunging their knives deep into this torso, beating on his head with their clubs and knuckledusters.

“Matt stood up for me and he was being beaten to a pulp for doing so while I was forced to watch.”

The ordeal shaped Maajid’s life dramatically, initially leaving him angry and segregated, but is an example he now draws on to remember there is good in the world.

Speaking with the Echo, Maajid, who said this was one of many racist attacks he suffered, said: “That’s how I ended up in my own hole and when I had to pull myself out, Matt reminded me that the world is not full of hate.

“The current climate is why I stepped up a gear to trace him because we are going through that again.

“Nobody thought it would come back around like this and I think the example of this guy is really important because it shows a real-life case of someone taking a brave stand. In this climate where far right parties are gaining ground, he deserves national recognition.

“Somebody is going to remember being attacked in London Road. Somebody will remember their relative being stabbed outside the fair.

“I believe he saved my life. I was a skinny 15-year-old and I don’t think I would have survived what they did to him.” If you can help, get in touch with our newsdesk on 01268 469409.