THE attack on a London man by a large cat-like animal has revived memories of the Beast of Rivacre Valley.

Back in 1999, the Pioneer carried a series of stories about a black panther-like creature said to be stalking the Ellesmere Port country park.

A week ago, Anthony Holder reported being savaged by a 6ft black animal at the bottom of his garden in South-East London.

In February 1999, the Pioneer carried a front-page story describing how a Great Sutton woman spotted a panther-like creature as she was walking her Jack Russell in Rivacre Park.

The dog froze, growled and fled in terror and the woman said she sensed something following her through the park.

She walked for some distance and turned around to see the beast just looking at her.

A couple of weeks later, Melanie Holt from Little Sutton contacted the Pioneer to say she had seen a panther-like creature prowling on her street, just half a mile away from Rivacre Valley.

She told us how she had been woken at 3.15am by the security light at the front of her house in Red Lion Lane and looked out of the window to see the creature moving in a cat-like way.

The following week, another Pioneer story highlighted more sightings of what was now being called the Beast of Rivacre Valley.

Sarah Price had been in the valley with her boyfriend the previous October when they spotted a strange black creature.

Andy Cartwright told us how, as a 14-year-old boy, he and a group of friends saw what appeared to be a massive black cat lurking in trees in the valley.

If you have seen the Beast of Rivacre Valley later than spring 1999, the Pioneer would like to hear from you on 0151 356 2345 or