A U.K. mugging victim thanked his attackers for saving his life after doctors found a brain tumor while treating his wounds, British media reported.

Ian Petrie was assaulted by four people after watching a World Cup soccer game in a pub in Bristol, southwest England, on June 18 last year.

He was taken to the hospital with a fractured cheek bone and knife wound to his leg -- and that was where a routine scan revealed a tumor on his brain.

After surgery to remove the cancerous growth, Petrie made a full recovery.

"I was a bit surprised to hear about my brain and a little concerned about having the operation," the 33-year-old said, according to The Metro. "But I thought it was nothing to worry about and better let them sort it out now than have problems later."

Petrie's attackers have been jailed.

"In a strange way, it was meant to happen, it was fate. They shouldn't have done it but as it was, it did some good really, and in a way they did Iain a favor," said his mother, Anne.