THREE local heroes were on hand to open St Helens' new Tesco Extra store this morning.

Andy Reid, Steve Prescott and Star competition winner, Colin Cross, cut the ribbon at the huge supermarket at Peasley Cross.

Corporal Reid and ex-Saints player Steve, who have become icons in St Helens for their work for good causes in the face of adversity, were joined by Colin, who was nominated to open the store by a Star reader after foiling a burglar’s attempts to raid his neighbour’s house.

He joined store manager Glyn Heppenstall to declare the new supermarket on St Helens Linkway officially open for business.

Dozens queued outside the store on Monday morning, which has created 300 new jobs and stands alongside the new Saints stadium, and it was buzzing with activity by 11am.

More than 100 staff have transferred from the Chalon Way store, which has now shut down to pave the way for the bigger venue. It is open 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday, and from 11am until 5pm on Sunday, and houses a pharmacy, phone shop and cafe.

Colin, 47, an ink chemist for a printing company, was nominated as a local hero by his neighbour of 23 years, Julie Bradshaw, for challenging a burglar who had broken into her home while she and her husband, were away on holiday earlier this year.

Colin said: “I feel flattered, there was nothing heroic in my actions any good neighbour would have done the same - it was very nice of Julie to put me forward. “It’s ironic because one of my colleagues whom I have worked with for many years was recently made redundant started work at the store on launch day.”

Mr Heppenstall and his team presented the Steve Prescott Foundation with a £2,000 charitable donation, which will help support the St Helens 10k run next year.

Thirty-seven-year-old Steve, who is battling the incurable cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, accepted the cheque along with friend Andy, 35, the inspirational soldier who lost an arm and both legs in an Afghan bomb blast.

Mr Heppenstall added: “On behalf of the team, I would also like to thank Steve for attending the launch.

“The St Helens run is a key event in the community which raises thousands of pounds for the hospice, which in turns helps lots of people in fight against cancer.

“It was a pleasure to be able to make this charitable donation to this cause as part of the launch celebrations.”

Shoppers were invited to join the celebrations with free cake, champagne and orange juice and the first customer through the doors was rewarded with a £50 gift card.

The store will host a free family fun day on Saturday November 5. From 11am until 4pm shoppers will have the chance to meet Peppa Pig.

Children can have their faces painted and families are invited to a barbecue.

There will be 12 events for customers during the store’s opening fortnight, with competitions, fancy dress, fundraising, singing, dancing and music.