ELEVEN buses named after 'Bradford Champions' have been unveiled by First Bus.

The company held a celebration event yesterday where it unveiled the vehicles and their monikers.

The new buses, which will run on the 620 Haworth Road to Bierley circular, have the name of a 'Champion' of the city displayed on the front along with information on why that person or organisation is seen as a 'Champion'.

About 500 staff at First in Bradford were asked to nominate their 'Champions'.

The 11 champions were: Professor David Sharpe; bus driver and fundraiser Ron Hiley; prostate cancer charity Men United; Margaret McMillan Primary School; The Joshua Project; speedway champions Erik Gundersen and Per Jonsson; former bus driver Abdul Rauf; former bus driver Satnam Singh; Marie Curie; 1926, which was the year of the first motorised bus in Bradford; and Bradford Royal Infirmary.

The new single-deck buses cost £2 million and are fitted with leather seats, CCTV, and wi-fi providing free internet access. In addition to the dedicated space for wheelchair users, the buses will have extra space for pushchairs.

Emma Taylor, business manager of First in Bradford, said: "Our investment of over £2million in low emission, luxury buses is great news for our customers and underlines our continuing determination to provide ever better bus services in our area and encourage more people to travel by bus.

"Customers can enjoy pleasant, more comfortable journeys and keep connected on the move with our free wi-fi, while we support the efforts of our local authority partners to improve air quality for all.

"We're also delighted to name our buses after people and organisations that have had such a big impact on our local community. I'm sure if this is popular we can look to extend this to other buses to take account of even more organisations and people who are Champions in Bradford."

Professor Sharpe was nominated for his leadership and management in helping save and rebuild lives following the Bradford City fire disaster and for founding the Bradford Burns Unit.

A spokesman for First said: "David retired in 2013 but has left a legacy that ensures Bradford is recognised as a centre for excellence for plastic surgery."

Mr Hiley is a bus driver at First Bradford and has worked there for more than 30 years. He is also a champion fundraiser for Marie Curie Cancer Care and has raised more than £50,000 by cycling and trekking all over the world.

A spokesman for First said: "From the Taj Mahal to the Inca Trail, nothing stops Ron from raising as much as he can for the Bradford hospice. We think Ron is amazing. We are so proud of him and that's why we've named this bus after him."

Men United is Prostate Cancer UK's movement for everyone who believes men are worth fighting for, and Prostate Cancer UK is FirstGroup's charity of choice. More than £1 million is expected to be donated over the next three years.

Margaret McMillan Primary School in Heaton has worked alongside First and the Outward Bound Trust to send pupils and teachers on adventures where they've had the chance to experience new and inspiring challenges, such as climbing, kayaking and abseiling.

A spokesman for First said: "The pupils have told us they feel empowered and have overcome their fears by pushing themselves further than they thought possible. We dedicate this bus to the staff and pupils at the school."

The Joshua Project is a charity in Great Horton for children and young people that provides recreational, educational and family support. It was founded in 2007 by a group of local residents who wanted to see change brought about in the lives of the children and young people in their community.

Speedway legends Erik Gundersen and Per Jonsson won the World Individual Championship at Odsal in 1985 and 1990, respectively. A spokesman for First said: "Erik Gundersen and Per Jonsson roared to success in Bradford, and continue to inspire racers - both young and old."

Bus driver and speedway fan John Murphy represented Gundersen and Jonsson at the unveiling. He said: "I am privileged that the names of two great speedway riders will be remembered in Bradford. Both came to our city as competitors in 1985 and 1990, they left as world champions - something quite unique in our sporting history.

"Thank you to First for honouring Erik Gundersen and Per Jonsson."

Bus drivers Abdul Rauf and Satnam Singh, who have both died, have both been honoured. Mr Rauf was born in 1953 and started work for First Bus - or its predecessors - in 1976. First said: "He worked on the buses for more than 37 years on every route. He was elected as a shop steward and very popular member of staff.

Mr Singh, born in 1952, started on the buses in 1971, working for more than 40 years. First said: "He mentored many new drivers and worked on school trips, being remembered for being very patient and good-natured."

Marie Curie Hospice, off Leeds Road, Bradford, provides care for people living with terminal illness, and their families.

The year 1926 was a big year for transport in Bradford with the first motorised buses starting to operate regular routes. In particular the routes from Haworth Road and Bierley became motorised and no longer reliant on overhead electric cables for power.

On the hospital, First said: "The BRI is on hand to help all of us, anytime of day or night. Whether it's helping us when we are ill or welcoming babies in to the world we couldn't live without the BRI and its staff. We think they deserve a big thank you and that's why we've named this bus after the BRI and its staff."