A SHOCKED Bolton man has come forward to describe the moment he had a close encounter with a large, black, cat like creature which he is certain is the beast of Bolton.

It is the second reported sighting of the elusive creature this month after Farnworth resident Natalie Kay said she came face to face with the animal last week.

Leighton Brierley said he and four friends came across the animal, which was first reported to be stalking the town in 2006, in Bromwich Street as he was leaving his girlfriends apartment.

He said: "We were leaving my girlfriends flat at about 10.40, there was a couple of us, we came out of the flat and it was around the back of the house where there's a dirt path.

"When you come out of the flat there's an old mechanics garage and there's a panel in the door and as we got closer it came out and past us and brushed past me. As it brushed across my leg and I literally touched it.

"There was an almighty bang, it sounded like a rottweiler running into a garage door, a normal cat couldn't have made a noise like it."

The encounter left Mr Brierley convinced he had become one of the few people to see the mysterious cat up close, which has been described as resembling a panther because of its black fur and cat like movements.

The 36-year-old said the way the animal moved left him convinced it was a cat while the size of it had left him a believer in one of Bolton's biggest myths.

He added: "You could feel the vibration coming through the floor as it ran away. It was too big to be a normal cat but the way it moved screamed it was like a cat, the speed and agility how it moved. I didn't believe in it before myself but now I 100 per cent believe people have seen it."

Have you ever seen the Beast of Bolton, or maybe captured a picture of it? Send your images to webdesk@theboltonnews.co.uk, via Facebook through facebook.com/theboltonnews, or Twitter @TheBoltonNews