A 65-YEAR-OLD post office manager rugby tackled an armed robber to try and stop him escaping with hundreds of pounds.

Rob Marcham spotted his chance after the post office was raided late in the afternoon yesterday. (Feb 4)

The former PE teacher who played rugby for teams in Bingley and Bradford for many years, said the masked man had threatened him with a screwdriver.

But when he began to leave, Mr Marcham launched himself at him, smashing the criminal against the shop’s door. The impact was so hard the door handle was knocked off.

Mr Marcham said: “It all happened in seconds. He dropped a large wad of money, and managed to wriggle free, which was a bit galling. I don’t know how he got away.

“I wanted to chase him but I couldn’t leave the shop unattended.”

Mr Marcham was unhurt, but the thief ran off with several hundred pounds. The raid happened at Cullingworth Post Office, in Halifax Road, shortly before 5pm yesterday.

Mr Marcham’s wife is the post mistress. He said they have been running this post office together for nearly six years.

He explained he had briefly left the secure part of the shop after receiving a phone call from someone saying they had left a wallet in the premises.

While he was distracted, the thief entered and slipped through an open door into the secure area, where he rifled through the till.

Mr Marcham confronted the man, only for the robber to brandish a screwdriver and walk towards him.

“I let him get past as I didn’t want to try anything head-on,” Mr Marcham said.

“It was only when he had his back to me that I tackled him. I just didn’t want him to just get away with it.

“I still can’t believe he escaped. He never said a word, but he knew exactly where the money was so I suspect he’d been here before.

“He had a stocking over his face, was wearing a grey tracksuit top with the hood up, and dark track suit bottoms. He had a slim build, I think he was a younger man.”

Mr Marcham, who is originally from Bingley, said Cullingworth had experienced a lot of crime over the last 18 months, with raids on the village’s only cash machine, its chemist and a local cafe.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "The post office robbery happened at around 4.45pm on Monday February 4.

"The suspect entered the shop armed with what’s believed to be a screwdriver and stole cash. Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 13190 063631."