Piccadilly Rats fans have sent get well soon messages to dancer Ray Boddington who is fighting for his life in hospital.

An investigation has been launched after the popular performer was struck by a tram in Manchester's High Street, between Market Street and Shudehill, last night.

A post shared on Ray's Facebook page this morning said that he is on a life support machine.

It reads: "RAY BODDINGTON (Piccadilly Rats dancer) WAS HIT BY A TRAM TODAY near the Arndale Centre. He's in hospital on a life support machine helping him to breathe and his injuries are so bad they said it's touch and go next 48 hours. He's in a critical condition. His family are devastated as he is one of a kind, such an amazing guy who brought smiles to everyone. It's such sad news to see and hear please pray for him and please share this post so people can pray for him. Thank you all xxxxxxxxx"

Wellwishers and fans have since posted a number of messages, expressing their sympathy and sharing their thoughts and prayers.

Zoe Marie posted: "He is such a lovely man always happy and makes me laugh Hope He pulls through big hugs to all the family xx"

Susan Dunn posted: "Very sad to read this. Thoughts and prayers are with Ray .x"

Keeta Brooke wrote: "Really hope he pulls through what a man he is always makes me smile when I see them in town. Praying he recovers."

Ray, aged 78, is a familiar face in the city centre, known for dancing alongside other members of popular busking band The Piccadilly Rats. The group has also performed at festivals including Parklife and Kendal Calling.

Ray, who is a former hairdresser, has previously appeared on X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, The Jeremy Kyle Show and also on the programme Judge Rinder.

A police investigation is ongoing after the collision yesterday, which left Ray in a critical condition.

Officers said a tram was travelling from Market Street towards Victoria train station when the incident occurred at the junction of High Street and Church Street.

Paramedics and police were called to the scene shortly before 7pm yesterday, before Ray was taken to hospital.

In a statement, police said: "The collision left the pedestrian — a 78-year-old man — with serious head injuries. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a critical condition."

Police Const Andrew Page of Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “We’re working to establish the circumstances surrounding the collision which has left a man with serious injuries.

“If you were in the area yesterday evening and you witnessed the collision then please get in touch with us, as your information could be vital in allowing us to piece together what happened.

“We’re particularly keen to hear from anyone with video or dashcam footage.”

Officers said that the tram driver provided negative samples for alcohol and drugs and no arrests have been made.

Police have appealed for any witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information should contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.