URGENT calls for action have been made after a mountain bike enthusiast was left needing surgery following a crash with a motorbike in a Prestwich park.

Graham Cooper had been enjoying an afternoon ride on a designated cycle trail in Philips Park on May 13 when he collided with one of a group of three off-road motorbikes.

The crash resulted in Mr Cooper being thrown from his bike and suffering serious injuries, including breaks to his tibia and fibula leg bones, and damage to his bike.

He was left laying pinned in agony by the offender's motorbike, before the offender removed his bike and fled.

After being helped by a young woman Mr Cooper was rushed to hospital where he spent five days, and required surgery on his leg.

He said: “I was riding down the hill in the park quite fast and there was a motorbike coming round the corner doing the same thing and going quite fast.

"We had a head on collision, and then crunch and my leg was broken.

“He made me move so he could escape. I was screaming and begging him not to move off my leg. Then I called an ambulance.”

The 42-year-old, who is an experienced cyclist and travels across the globe mountain biking, moved to live in Bury New Road specifically to be near to the trails in Philips Park and others around the borough.

This crash means he will be unable to pursue his passion for some time, and Mr Cooper has vowed not to return to the park.

He is also calling for action tackle to antisocial motorbike riders in the park and fears children could be hurt if nothing is done.

Mr Cooper said: “I will be out for quite a while now and I will have to recover before I can ride again.

"I'm a big burly bloke but there's young kids going down those trails."

He added: “I have seen the bikes in the park a number of times recently and it's an issue in that place.

"I ride there probably five times a week but that's that now, I will never go back there."

Following Mr Cooper's crash, police have issued an appeal for witnesses and information about the three motorcyclists.

Anyone with any information should call 0161 856 6108 quoting incident number 2269 of 13/05/19, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Last year St Mary's ward councillor, Cllr Eamonn O'Brien, voiced similar concerns about antisocial motorcyclists in Bury's parks.

Cllr O'Brien has said that while it can be very difficult to catch bikers, who they often wear face masks and remove number plates, he is continuing to work with the police and the Forestry Commission to try and prevent the problem.

He is also encouraging residents and park users to help tackle the problem by informing police and councillors about any sightings and incidents.

Cllr O'Brien: “With someone having been injured this time, I think that should be a wake up call for everyone involved.

“What we need is a joint effort between the council, Forestry Commission and police, supported by residents. And I am sure between us all we can limit access points in the park and hopefully report and apprehend people who are putting others at risk, as was clearly the case in this incident."