BRADFORD'S so-called Jesus Man has died, according to one of his close friends.
Geoffrey Brindley passed away peacefully at 2.30am today, said the friend.
Mr Brindley was a local icon in the Bradford district, where he was regularly spotted walking the streets in a brown robe and sandals, with a satchel around his neck.
He was so well-known that a website was set-up dedicated to listing sightings of him.
A book of condolence has been set up at Bradford Cathedral for people to leave their tributes.
The Telegraph & Argus reported in 1960 how Mr Brindley, then 33, gave up his job as a machinist to live in a cave near Settle in order to receive a message from God.
He spent 12 days in the cave before setting off back to Bradford wearing a habit.
The 88-year-old, who was also known as the Airedale Monk, was taken ill on Thursday, August 13, at his home in Baildon where he fell down the stairs.
He was found by the friend he has shared the property with for the last 25 years.
- 'Bradford Jesus Man' street name would be 'fitting tribute'
- Body of 'Bradford Jesus Man' could be displayed in open casket as part of funeral
- Campaigns to erect statue of Bradford's Jesus Man backed by thousands of people
- People sign book of condolence at Bradford Cathedral for people to pay respects to 'Bradford Jesus Man'
- BRADFORD JESUS MAN: Tributes to unique district character Geoffrey Brindley flood in from across the world
- BRADFORD JESUS MAN: Online campaigns launched to erect a statue in tribute to Geoffrey Brindley
- 'Bradford Jesus Man' dies in hospital after fall at home
The Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth said he did not know Mr Brindley personally, but added: "Speaking for the wider Christian community, we greatly mourn his loss. We are grateful for his life and all that he meant for many people in Bradford and the district."
Shamin Kayani, 44, of Heaton, said Mr Brindley was a part of her life since she was a baby, adding that he would visit her family home, something he carried on with Mrs Kayani's children who are now aged 14, 12 and 11.
"I am just gobsmacked," said Mrs Kayani. "He used to come to my parents' house when I was very small and he used to cradle us. He used to come every week - he was like a father figure to us.
"He was just such a nice person. I am very upset."
She added: "I have very happy memories. We are all just devastated at the moment.
"My children are all very upset. He used to cradle them and sing to them. They used to spot him around Bradford."
TRIBUTES FLOOD IN FOR 'BRADFORD JESUS MAN' GEOFFREY BRINDLEY
Here are just some of the many tributes to Geoffrey Brindley we have received since this article was first published:
"My funniest memory of Jesus Man is whilst we were sitting the Richmond test exams at middle school and someone in the hall spotted him and shouted 'There's Jesus Man'. Everyone in the hall stopped what they were doing and we all waved at him. It took the teachers ages to get us back to exam conditions. Wish I'd had the courage when I lived in Bradford to speak to him when I saw him. Rest In Peace. Bradford ought to have a statue of him made so that he is never forgotten. It would obviously have to have a waving pose." - Renata Mucha
"I first met our lovely 'Jesus Man' Mr Brindley in 1979 when I had my son. He was so gentle, with kind words and always smiling. May you rest in peace. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time. We will always remember you with happy memories." - Jacky Harland-Waide
"I'm 67 now. I first saw him in my late teens. I used to see him fairly regularly. He always waved and smiled at me. I found it really comforting. He was such a special human being. He's certainly earned a place up there. So, 50 years on from first sighting of Geoffrey, all I can say is that he was a truly remarkable man. RIP." - A Brandon
"As a child I remember sitting on the bus with my mum and sister and my mum said 'Oh look, Jesus Man is there'. Me and my sister ran to the back of the bus to look at him. Twenty years later I was doing the same thing, pointing him out to my son. A good memory." - Michelle Desmier
"Such an amazing man. Always a smile and a wave. God bless his family at this sad time." - Debs McMurray.
"Once he was walking past our street and I asked him 'What's your name?'. He replied, 'Only God knows my name'. Then he smiled, waved and carried on walking." - Habibur Rahman
"Growing up in Bradford in the 70s, a sighting of Geoffrey was a highlight of any journey. Even in recent times as a ‘mature’ person I still thought I had been blessed when I saw him. He is part of the very fabric of the city and it will be a poorer place without him. There should be some permanent fitting memorial to him, be this a statue, an event or something unique to him. RIP Bradford Jesus Man. Journey well. Love and light." - Gail Waddington
"I remember this man walking through Northowram regularly when I was a child. He was always a pleasant man with a smile on his face. I never knew much about him, but I'm so sorry to read that he has passed away." - Tracey livingstone
"Such a nice chap always waved if you peeped your horn. ..... he will be missed all over the hills RIP" - Brent Scriven
"I remember when I was in the Life Boys in the early sixties. I was in full uniform walking to a meeting one evening from my home in Fairweather Green to Girlington Baptist Church. Geoffrey was walking along Thornton Road in the opposite direction. He said 'hello sailor'. Long before Dick Emery made this saying famous." - Martin Tonks
"I was sat in McDonald's in Bradford opposite the Kirkgate market lifts when Jesus Man walked passed and he saw that I noticed him and smilled at me and gave me the thumbs up and walked past. It really cheered me up - thanks Jesus Man" - Adnan Mirza
"I remember when my nanna died, Geoffrey said to me that he will see my Nanna before she goes and we were going down Leeds road and we were behind the car with the coffin in and we saw him an he waved to us and my Nanna." - Kaitland Gibson
"I am crying in Lidl. I remember this man as a child that always had a kind word and cheery disposition. I can't believe it, I am devastated. Bradford wont be the same without him, he never looked any older and I would see him all over Bradford, it's such a sad loss." - Janette Dann
"Aww I have memories of this man from childhood. I'll never forget his friendly wave - such a nice man who always looked the same. RIP" - Michele Milenkovic
"I'm a leeds man of 50. I was a pupil at Parkside High School in Beeston, Leeds. We as school kids would see him most days walking up and down Dewsbury Road. He never approached us, only waved from afar or the other side of the road. He was a very distinctive community figure all those years ago. I went through life living in Barcelona some years and later returned to England to return to my roots. I was driving my plumbing van one day in the direction of Bradford when to my surprise I saw once again this distinctive figure from all those years ago, and sure enough it was the same man doing the same thing as always - walking on the roadside, smiling and waving. What a strange nostalgic feeling I had. His presence left me thinking about so many memories of schooldays good times. It's really only something or some really special that can stir up such deep thoughts and emotions. Truly the work of (Jesus) Mr Brindley. May he rest in perfect peace." - Andrew Harland
"He was a unique presence and always seemed to have an ability over the years to pop up when least expected and seemed part of the fabric of the city!" - Damien Wilkinson
"I'm very upset to hear that Geoffrey has died today. I have a lot of respect for this man, I remember him from my childhood and now I'm 38 years old. This man was so special, always smiling. Regardless of any weather - storm or snow - you would see him in the same dress all the time. I will truly miss this man. I would like to pay my condelonces to all of his friends and family." - L Hussain
"So sad. He was a lovely man who used to come and talk to me in the garden when I was a child. So many people were intrigued by him." - Rebecca Culpan
"He always made me smile. I used to work as a lollypop lady at Littletown school in Liversedge. Every so often he would pass us on his long walk to Bradford. He always smiled and waved, and the children would smile and wave back. Even thinking about him now is putting a smile on my heart." - Tracey King
"I saw this gentle soul many times in my life walking everywhere in his sandals and brown robe, going to school waiting for my bus. I am over 50 now and it seems like yesterday when I first saw him. Always a smile, always gentle. Very odd at first glance. Many people of many ages saw him but never knew him. I for one feel sad to hear of his passing. God bless this kind, gentle man who seemed to want nothing" - Chrissy Page
"I'm 50 and remember him walking past as a child, waving. Such a happy man. So sorry to see he's passed. He's a legend" - Sue Sidebottom
"I am so sorry to hear of his death, as he has been part of my growing up memories for nearly 50 years. He took all things said to him with a smile and a blessing to everyone of all faiths. He had no bias. Whatever made him change his way of being, I hope he has found his Valhalla. He will be sorely missed by many until he fades away into the realms of local Bradford history. Blessings to you Mr Jesus Man." - Tina McDonough
"Every Wednesday, Jesus Man would be in Eccleshill Library around 3pm. He would happily talk to me and my friends. We were around 14 years old. He was lovely and so nice to speak to." - Marcia Pearson