Crewe rallies behind ‘lovely gentleman’, 76, after vicious attack leaves him with broken neck

Bill Love was brutally assaulted while he was walking home from the pub

Crewe man Bill Love, 76, was viciously assaulted while walking home from the pub (Image: The Hop Pole)

The Crewe community has rallied behind a ‘lovely’ pensioner who was viciously attacked while he was walking home from the pub. Bill Love, 76, was assaulted on Saturday night (November 5) as he was walking home along Gresty Road after leaving the British Lion.

He was taken to Royal Stoke Hospital with injuries including two dislocated shoulders and a broken neck. Two men, aged 22 and 24, were later arrested on suspicion of section 18 assault before being released on conditional bail while police continue to investigate the incident.

The assault has shocked the community, with many pledging to support both Bill and his family. Rebecca Austin and Andrew Pearse, who run The Hop Pole pub on Wistaston Road, have launched an online fundraiser, which has already raised hundreds of pounds, while local taxi firm My Cab has offered him a free ride home from the hospital.

READ MORE: Two arrests made after vicious attack on pensioner walking home from Crewe pub

Bill is a regular visitor to The Hop Pole and Rebecca said he could often be seen sitting with a drink, reading his book.

Rebecca Austin and Andrew Pearse, who run The Hop Pole pub in Crewe (Image: Rebecca Austin)

She said: “I’ve known Bill for about four years now. Since myself and Andrew took over here three months ago, he comes in quite a lot to say ‘hi’.

“All he ever does is order his drink and sit there with his book. That’s all he ever does. He would never say boo to a goose at all.”

Speaking of when she found out what happened, Rebecca said: “I rang my partner and I was pretty much in tears because he is such a lovely gentleman. With what’s going on around Crewe at the moment, it doesn’t feel like a safe place anymore.

“But I was crying my eyes out when I found out it was Bill because if those people needed help, he would have helped them.

“To me it felt like – why would you beat up your grandad? I couldn’t even imagine throwing a punch, let alone doing what they did to Bill.”

Rebecca was in the health industry for nine years and said she launched the fundraiser to support Bill’s family and help pay for any equipment he might need as a result of his injuries.

She said: “Nobody knows anybody’s financial situation and with him being an old aged pensioner, he might need help. If we can raise like £500 to help him at home or get treatment quicker, it will hopefully make a difference.

“When we go and present what we’ve done for him, it might give him the sense of relief that the Crewe community is behind him.

“A lot of people know him so it will hopefully give him some comfort that people are thinking about him and wishing him a speedy recovery – as speedy as it can be with two dislocated shoulders and a broken neck.

“We’re just thinking about the long run and about his family and friends. Even a £1 helps – if 100 people put £1 in then that’s £100 in.”

She said the Hop Pole would never let anybody vulnerable walk home alone late at night from the pub. They often ring taxis and would cover the cost if customers can’t afford it.

She added: “At the end of the day, we live in the 21st century and not everybody is as kind as they were back in the day. As long as we as a pub can at least promote some sort of safety and know we’ve done everything possible.

“With what happened, as a pub, we want to promote that safety. We don’t want things like this to happen again ever.

“It’s a diabolical shame what has happened. Hopefully we’ll promote it enough for it to never happen to anybody ever again.”

Rebecca has contacted Crewe and Nantwich MP Dr Kieran Mullan in a bid to try and ‘make Crewe safer’. Police recently confirmed to Cheshire Live that they had increased patrols following a number of serious incidents in recent weeks.

But Rebecca said this was ‘not good enough’, adding: “We’re paying taxes for police officers, why has this happened? On a day-to-day basis we do see police officers – if they were there when it happened, they might have stopped it completely or prevented him from incurring so many injuries.

“I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that there were no police officers, on a street where they’ve had stabbings. Why were there no patrols at that time at night when there are kids roaming around that clearly haven’t had any discipline in their lives?”

Anyone who wants to donate to the fundraiser for Bill can do so at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thehoppolecrewe.

Police are continuing to appeal for information as part of the investigation. Reports can be made to Cheshire Constabulary online or by calling 101 quoting IML 1406330.

By