Brave dad Tony Evans has been hailed a hero after he was stabbed while trying to stop two hooded thieves from stealing from an elderly lady.
The father-of-seven chased away two crooks who had called at the Denaby home of his 78-year-old neighbour Sheila Moxon claiming to be collecting money for the water board.
But when he caught up with the pair, they beat him to the ground and plunged a blade into his side.
The 40-year-old painter and decorator/builder this week modestly played down his heroics.
He said: “Anyone would have done the same in my situation. It was an instinctive reaction. I had to do something.”
Mrs Moxon, a widow, added she believes her have-a-go-hero neighbour saved her life.
The great-grandmother said: “He is my hero. God knows what would have happened if they had gotten in. I might have ended up dead. He is the best neighbour in the world.”
The drama unfolded on Doncaster Road just before 11pm on Saturday.
Mr Evans noticed two men loitering outside her property so he went to the back door to see if she was safe.
She let him in and while they were chatting inside, the two bogus callers knocked on the door and window shouting they were from the water board.
Mr Evans said: “They were banging with real force. I shouted for them to both go away and opened the door.
“I just chased after them. It was all out of instinct. I wanted to get them away from Sheila’s house.”
He added: “I caught up to them and they started kicking and punching me. I didn’t even know until afterwards that they had stabbed me.
“One of them was a big lad. They could have killed me and then all of my kids would have been left without a dad. That really made me angry.
“It just shows there are some horrible people out there. I’m still in a bit of shock. I still don’t think I did anything out of the ordinary, anyone would have done it.”
He was taken to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital and later Doncaster Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He suffered two black eyes and an inch long cut to his torso.
His 20-year-old son, also called Tony, said: “It’s a very brave thing what he did.”
Mrs Moxon added: “I’ve been in tears afterwards thinking about what he has done for me. I’m so proud of him.
“He deserves a medal. I’ll never forget it.”
South Yorkshire Police are investigating the incident. Anyone with information should call the non-emergency number on 101.
Visit our website at www.southyorkshiretimes.co.uk to watch a video of them both talking about the incident.