GRAPHIC CONTENT: Joe Cocker's drummer left for dead in hit-and-run witnessed by daughter and grandchildren

Roland Beckett after he was injured in a hit-and-run
Roland Beckett after he was injured in a hit-and-run
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A man who was a drummer for Joe Cocker was left for dead in an horrific hit-and-run witnessed by his daughter and grandchildren.

Roland Beckett, aged 73, from Stannington, was 'mown down' in Dykes Hall Road, Hillsborough, by a car which failed to stop.

Roland Beckett in hospital

Roland Beckett in hospital

The OAP, who performed with Sheffield-born rock singer Joe Cocker, is seriously ill in hospital today after suffering a shattered ankle and two fractured kneecaps in the crash in which he was 'thrown through the air like a rag doll' in front of his daughter and three grandchildren, aged nine, five and three.

He has undergone surgery and it is feared the dad-of-three, who battled cancer for years and is now in remission, may never walk again.

His family said he is struggling to breathe today.

A police manhunt is underway for the driver of the car involved - a yellow and black Audi A3 - who sped away from the scene without leaving his details.

He reversed out of a queue of traffic at a set of lights in a bid to do a U-turn when he crashed into Mr Beckett.

The OAP's daughter, Emma Beckett, 37, who witnessed the collision, said she is devastated that her dad was left for dead.

"How could somebody drive off not knowing if the man they had hit was dead or alive? How could they drive off knowing that there were children screaming 'granddad' at the side of the road? How can they live with themselves?" she said.

"Just two minutes earlier my dad was crossing the road hand in hand with two of his grandchildren - they wouldn't have survived these injuries.

"My dad is a doting granddad, a true family man who lives for his grandchildren. Knowing that three of them witnessed this is killing him.

"We had just waved him off and were watching him cross the road when he was mown down in front of us. I don't think any of us will ever get over what we saw. He was thrown through the air like a rag doll. The children are distraught and were screaming as I ran over to him in the road."

She urged anyone with information to call the police.

"The driver will not get away with this, how can he expect to get away with almost killing somebody in broad daylight in front of young children," she said.

"He is obviously a danger on the roads and needs caught now. What he did is not acceptable and he needs to realise how many lives he has affected."

Mr Beckett's daughter Vanessa Coogan, 46, said: "Please come forward and do the right thing. We're all heartbroken."

His other daughter, Samantha Hastings, 41, added: "We are absolutely devastated - please help."

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "At around 3.30pm on Tuesday, it is reported that a car, believed to be a yellow and black Audi A3, was involved in a collision with a pedestrian on Dykes Hall Road, opposite the Tesco supermarket.

"The pedestrian, a 73-year-old man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

"It is reported that the car failed to stop and left the scene.

"Did you see the collision? Can you help officers with their enquiries?"

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

Library image of the skyline of the City of London Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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