THE people of Ramsbottom really are the salt of the earth ­— just ask well-known former local publican Jim Cunliffe who just days after moving back to the town had his shopping paid for when his debit card was declined.

The retired landlord of the Corner Pin Pub in Stubbins was left feeling embarrassed when his card was rejected at Morrisons Supermarket on Friday at around 7pm. after he put in the incorrect PIN ­— until the shopper behind him stepped forward and offered to pay the bill.

Jim, who founded and still organises the internationally famous World Black Pudding Throwing Companionships was left overwhelmed with the gesture.

"I had bought a few things, milk and other small things and as I went to pay I put my PIN number in which it said it wasn't the right number, I am still certain the number I put in was my number.

"There was a very nice young man behind me, I didn't know who he was, and he just said 'don't worry, I will pay for it'.

"I said to him I was just so embarrassed, I didn't have any money on me and he said it wasn't a problem and just to get him a pint when I see him.

"It was really nice of him to do that, the girl behind the till said so too."

Jim, aged 74, added: "I don’t know his name I didn’t even ask him his name that was even more embarrassing that I didn’t even ask him his name.”

Jim retired to Southport but has moved back to Ramsbottom to recuperate after a car accident and be closer to his daughter, Jeanine.

Jim said: “The man said don’t worry and that it has happened to him before – it really was a nice thing especially the times we are in.

"I reckon he was mid-40s, I can’t believe I didn’t ask his name.

“I have been thinking about it ever since, I have even stood watching people go in case I saw him.

“I was so grateful, it was £10, that is a lot of money to me. There were two people stood behind me I thinking was the queue is getting longer and longer but it was no problem and started talking to the people behind him.

Jim added: “Since we moved back people have been so nice to use and helped us.

“I walk round people catch me up and ask what am I doing back in Rammy

“The people are just so friendly.”

And Jim said he is hoping to bring back the black pudding competition this year after it was cancelled last year.

"I hope it is on because we need fun and I am thinking how to make it safe," said Jim.