The family of a student left with life-threatening injuries after a street attack have been "overwhelmed" with support shown for their "kind and gentle" son.
Ifan Richards Owens, 19, was found unconscious on High Street, Aberystwyth, in the early hours of Sunday after the assault.
Three men arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent have been released under investigation.
A 19-year-old man remains in custody.
Mr Owens, a second-year student at Aberystwyth University, was initially taken to Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth but was later transferred to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales.
His family said in a statement: "Ifan is a kind and gentle person, and we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from family, friends, as well as Ifan's school friends, teachers, university friends, and sports teams, who are all sending their best wishes for Ifan, who is desperately ill following this incident in Aberystwyth.
"Ifan's only choice for university was Aberystwyth. He had no interest in any other university and absolutely loves the town. He plays football and rugby for the Geltaidd [students' union] football and rugby clubs and is enjoying his second year studying criminology."
Det Ch Insp Anthony Evans from Dyfed-Powys Police said: "The investigation into the events leading to Mr Owens' injuries, leaving him in hospital in a critical condition, is ongoing and we continue to appeal for witnesses.
"We know a man administered first aid to Mr Owens before emergency services arrived, and we are continuing the appeal for him to come forward as he could give us information important to the case."
He appealed for anyone with information or CCTV or video footage of the incident to contact police on 101.