Santa Claus came dashing to the rescue — when he chased off two masked robbers attacking a pub landlord.

Dave Holden, who runs The Same Yet pub in Simister, was on his way to deposit his weekend takings at The Royal Bank of Scotland in Bury Old Road, Prestwich, when two men in ski masks confronted him near to the bank entrance at 9.50am on Monday.

A scuffle broke out and Mr Holden shouted for help.

About 50 yards away, Simon Chapman was in a Father Christmas outfit in St Margaret’s Road, drumming up trade for the Hidden Gem Garden Centre, in Heaton Park.

Mr Chapman sprinted towards the thugs, who ran off empty handed in a waiting BMW.

Mr Holden, who suffered a cut arm and a bruised knee in the attack, said: “It was a terrifying thing to happen, especially as it was in broad daylight and I’m lucky that I wasn’t more seriously injured.

“I shouted for help and Santa came running.”

Mr Chapman, aged 47, of Moston, said: “I heard Dave calling and shouted over at them, but they were ripping at his shirt like a pair of hyenas.

“So I ran over at them and they went back to their car.

“As they left, I shouted at them ‘I’m going to put you on my naughty list for this Christmas’.”

Mr Chapman has been doing the job for five years during the winter months and regularly receives Christmas lists, biscuits and mince pies from children on their way to school.

Mr Holden also received help from two men delivering bread to Fresh Cookie as well as the shop’s owners.

He added: “I am very grateful to Simon, to the police and to everyone else who came to my aid.

“I was walking past the Fresh Cookie cake shop in St Margaret’s Road when this masked man jumped out in front of me and started screaming ‘where is it?’ “At first I thought he wanted my phone or my car keys, but then he started patting me down and it came to me that he wanted the takings.

“I tried to get away, but the other masked man blocked my way and the other one pulled at my shirt and tore it, which is when I shouted for help.”

Police say the two offenders were about 5ft 10in tall, aged in their early 20s, and spoke with Manchester accents.

A third man, who was driving the car — a dark-blue BMW 316 model — was described as black.

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is asked to call police on 101.