A brutal queue-jumper may have condemned an elderly man to a life of poor health after throwing him to the ground and breaking his hip during a row at a Piccadilly Gardens bus stop.
The 70-year-old was trying to board the number 76 bus to Oldham with his wife just before 4pm on last Friday when a man with a young girl pushed in front of them, causing a dispute.
The offender then violently pushed the man to the floor, severely fracturing his hip, before walking off with the girl towards Lever Street.
Detective Constable Paul Wilde said: “This was a totally needless, shocking attack on an elderly man who, as a consequence, has suffered a life-changing injury.
“He has been in good health all his life and now, after one moment of madness, he is still in hospital recovering from hip replacement surgery.”
Police have now released CCTV stills of the attacker in the hope of catching him.
The man was last seen walking from Piccadilly Gardens towards Lever Street with the girl, aged either four or five year old, before meeting up with a woman outside the Royal Mail sorting office on Oldham Road.
Officers are appealing to anyone who recognises the offender himself or who knows who it might be from the very distinctive blue flowery raincoat the young girl was wearing to come forward.
It is believed he may live in the Collyhurst area as there was a later sighting of him near to Livesley Street.
The suspect is described as black, wearing a black jacket, of a slim build, in his mid-20s and about 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall.
The young girl with the blue jacket was also black, as was the woman the pair later met up with.
Detective Constable Wilde added: “I would urge people to look very carefully at the CCTV images we have released.
“If you think you recognise this man, or perhaps recognise the family from the distinctive coat the young girl was wearing, we really need to hear from you.
“I would also like to make a direct appeal to the offender himself.
“As a result of your actions, a 70-year-old man has suffered a very severe hip injury and is in hospital.
“Please, do the right thing and come forward.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 3120 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.