FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Ryan Binner put his rugby playing skills to use after he tackled a suspected shoplifter to the ground in Skipton High Street.

The teenager was helping out on the underwear stall outside HSBC when the drama unfolded on Friday.

The Aireville School pupil told the Herald: "I was at the back of my stall and a girl who works in Tog24 was running in between the vans and stalls shouting 'there's a shoplifter'.

"I just saw this man running in front of her. I just set off after him because I did not think she was going to get him."

Ryan, who plays prop for Wharfedale under 16s, chased the man across the road and caught up with him outside the Woolly Sheep pub on Sheep Street.

He rugby tackled him to the floor and kept hold of him until one of the stallholders arrived. The police then took over.

Since the incident, news of Ryan's action has spread around the market. "They have been saying I'm a hero and taking the mickey," he told the Herald.

His mother, Christine, said her first thought was that the man could have had a weapon. But she added: "I am extremely proud. It's completely reflective of him."

Chief Inspector Chris Chelton said it was unusual to see such a public spirited attitude in someone so young.

* A 34-year-old Keighley man has been charged with theft and will appear before Skipton Magistrates on October 19.