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Barman aged 71 fends off raiders

A 71-year-old man has fended off three masked men armed with sticks as they demanded bar takings but left empty-handed.

The plucky barman first threw a tray of glasses at the raiders after they burst in at Heap Bridge Working Men's Club in Heywood, Greater Manchester.

They then rushed behind the bar and dragged him to the floor, where they kicked him repeatedly in a bid to get him to open the safe.

The barman remained defiant and the three men, who all wore balaclavas, ran off at about 12.15am on Sunday.

Detective Sergeant Tony Dixon said: "I must first praise the bravery that this man showed to fight off the attackers and make sure they left empty-handed.

"Three men armed with sticks were no match for his strength of character, which did not waver even when they pulled him to the ground and started to assault him.

"It also shows the cowardice of these offenders who were forced to run away with nothing after he stood up to them.

"We need people who may have seen these men in the area at the time to come forward and contact us on the numbers below."

The first offender is described as 6ft, of medium build, with a local accent. He wore khaki-coloured clothing. The second man is 5ft 8in and of slim build, and the third man is 5ft 6in.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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