Manchester

Piccadilly Rats' Ray Boddington hit by tram in Manchester

Ray Boddington Image copyright Cassie Warmbold
Image caption The 77-year-old performs with the band The Piccadilly Rats

A popular street musician is in a critical condition after being hit by a tram in Manchester.

Ray Boddington, who performs with the band The Piccadilly Rats, was struck at the junction of High Street and Church Street at 18:50 BST on Wednesday.

A message on the 77-year-old's Facebook page said he was "on life support".

It added that his family were "devastated", adding that the "amazing" busker had a talent for bringing "smiles to everyone".

The Manchester Evening News reported that the retired hairdresser, who has appeared on ITV shows The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and Judge Rinder, was "fighting for his life".

Greater Manchester Police said the tram's driver had provided negative samples for alcohol and drugs and no arrests had been made.

The news has provoked a flurry of messages on social media.

Sacha Lord, who booked the band to play his Parklife festival in 2018, tweeted his support for the "real Manchester character".

On Facebook, Christopher Partington said what had happened was "so sad [as] the Rats always bring a smile to my face", while Shaun Ingham Patterson wrote that he hoped the 77-year-old "pulls through", adding: "We loved watching Ray and the Rats on a Saturday in town."

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

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