THE landlord of a town-centre pub which was badly damaged when a Land Rover smashed into it said he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received — including an offer to look after his tropical fish.

Neil Piper was left homeless when the car ploughed into the side of the popular Dog and Partridge pub in Manor Street on Wednesday.

He is also unsure of when he will be able to return to work, with the pub closed for the foreseeable future as building assessors and insurers continue to analyse the damage.

Manor Street, which was closed in one direction on Thursday, has now fully re-opened.

Mr Piper, who had a lucky escape, stepping outside of the building for a cigarette just seconds before the car crashed into the vault room, has run the pub, where he also lives, for the past 14 years.

He said: “The reaction has been amazing — we have had so many people get in touch from all over the world, including lots of bands that have played here.

“A friend of mine has very kindly leant me her home for a month and has moved in with her boyfriend which has been a massive help, because I didn’t have anywhere to live.

“I also came down to the pub today and found a box of doughnuts on the step which was from one of my regulars.”

One of the more unique gestures has been from nearby aquatics superstore BAS, in Folds Road, which has offered to look after Mr Piper’s collection of tropical fish while work is carried out on the pub.

He said: “I have about 50 fish in a 200 litre tank and I was really worried about what I could do with them.

“Staff from BAS sometimes drink in the pub and they called me up and offered to keep the fish there for free, it was a really nice gesture.”

n A MAN appeared in court yesterday accused of criminal damage, dangerous driving and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Craig Durham, aged 41, did not enter a plea.

He was remanded on bail by magistrates with several conditions attached.

He must reside at his parents’ address, stay at home between 7pm and 6am each night and wear an electronic tag.

Durham, of Bolton Road, Kearsley, is also not allowed to enter a motor vehicle, except as a passenger.

His case will next be heard at Bolton Crown Court on November 21 at 9.30pm.