VICIOUS armed raiders left a forces social club steward for dead just days after he had hosted the wake for hero Royal Marine Danny Winter. Alan Stovall was battered unconscious with a hammer and his partner was tied up in the robbery at Marple Social and Forces Club. Just two days before the attack 600 mourners attended the funeral of Corporal Winter, 28, who died in a suspected 'friendly fire' incident in Afghanistan. Friends and family attended a wake at the club, where Cpl Winter's parents are regulars. It is believed the three robbers, who were also armed with a machete, struck at the club on Lime Kiln Lane because of high takings from the wake. They left Mr Stovall, 52, unconscious after he had put up a fight, before forcing his partner, who does not want to be named, to open the safe. They then fled with up to Â£1,500 - although it did not include cash from the wake as it had already been banked. Alan suffered three nasty head wounds and will undergo an operation to insert a metal plate to fix his broken right arm. His partner was left traumatised by the ordeal. Cpl Winter's mum, Carolyn Hughes and his stepfather, Jez Arthur, said: "We think it is deplorable and despicable. It was the wake of such a brave man and a fitting tribute for a man who laid his life down, so for a bunch of cowards to then go and do this is disgusting. "It has left a sour taste in the mouth because the steward had done so much for us. "If anyone knows anything we would appeal for them to come forward because Danny put his life on the line for people to be decent and upstanding." Alan said: "I went outside to start the car and one of the men came out of the shadows and said give me the keys. "I turned around and I just hit him and put him on the floor. Then another appeared with a hammer and started hitting me on the head. "The next thing I knew I woke up in the car park. I went back into the club and my partner had managed to untie herself but the thieves had gone. I've got three big lumps on my head and I have also broken my arm. I think they robbed us because they thought they could get the takings from the wake." Club chairman Sheila Pendlebury said: "It's disgusting. The wake was for a hero who died fighting for this country and then you get scum like that. They hit Alan over the head three times with a hammer and left him for dead. His partner was inside the club and she saw them coming on the CCTV monitor. She grabbed the phone to ring the police but by the time she began to dial they were in the room. "They had a hammer and a machete. She was shaking so much she couldn't open the door to the safe at first. "They emptied all the money out and tied her up with cable ties. Luckily, the money from the wake had been banked so they got away with very little." T**ts, I can't really say anything more than that really.