A GRANDFATHER said he thought he was going to die when he was punched in the face by a road rage attacker.

Peter Stringer was taken to hospital after being attacked for raising his arms to question why a Mercedes driver had raced past him so fast.

The driver was enraged by the 71-year-old’s gesture, reversed the car near to where he was standing, at the junction of Spring Clough Avenue and Old Clough Lane, and punched him in the face.

Mr Stringer said: “I thought I was going to die.

“I thought I was dead.

“I looked up and the man’s car door was open and this young guy was already out of the car.

“I looked up and he obviously took the chance.

“He could have just left me to die, that is the sorry thing about it. He was a coward.

“The man who did this has no morals, no compassion, no feelings for anybody but himself.

“He is arrogant, aggressive and vicious. He was slick and knew exactly what he was doing.”

The retired English teacher and cricket master suffered a break to the left side of his jaw and a crack to the right side.

He also dislocated his middle finger on his left hand after getting it stuck in his dog’s collar.

The 71-year-old, from Northumberland, was visiting his mother-in-law, Pat Murphy, in Walkden, and was out walking his dogs, Freddie a Staffordshire bull terrier and Tillie, a collie cross breed, when he was attacked.

He was left covered in blood and made his way back to his mother-in-law’s home where he passed out several times He has received treatment at Royal Bolton Hospital, Royal Preston Hospital and Blackburn Hospital since the attack on Sunday at about 7.30pm.

Mr Stringer said he would now be cautious when walking his dogs and fears he may have to postpone a trip to Somerset later this week with his wife Liz.

He remains hopeful that his attacker will be caught.

Det Con Paul Davies said: “On the face of it this was a road rage incident — people change when they get behind the wheel.

“If Mr Stringer had hit his head on the concrete it could have been a totally different story — people have died from being punched.”

The suspect is an Asian man, aged about 30, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in tall, with an athletic build.

He was said to have a sallow complexion, short, black hair and a short, trimmed beard. He was wearing smart casual clothes.

Anyone with information can call police on 0161 8565097 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.