CAMPAIGNS to erect a statue of Bradford's Jesus Man have started on social media, with thousands of people backing the plan.

The two Facebook pages dedicated to Geoffrey Brindley have attracted nearly 10,000 'likes' after being set up on Monday night.

Mr Brindley, 88, died at Bradford Royal Infirmary at 2.30am on Monday, 11 days after suffering a stroke at his home in Baildon.

The Facebook pages - 'Statue for Bradford Jesus Man' and 'Build a Statue for Bradford Jesus Man' - had 4,643 and 4,670 'likes' at teatime yesterday. The page moderators want to get as many 'likes' as possible before presenting their idea to Bradford Council.

Nineteen-year-old Sherralee Doherty, of Denholme, set up Statue for Bradford Jesus Man page. She said: "When the news about Mr Brindley got out everyone was devastated. There has been quite a lot of tears from some people. Everyone in Bradford loved him - he was famous, really.

"He was always smiling, he never looked grumpy or anything.

"A statue would be something to remember him by. If we have a statue we can keep telling our grandkids and their kids his story."

She added: "I feel gutted and devastated - it is knowing you're not going to see him smiling and waving. It is upsetting, especially if you have grown up in Bradford seeing him smiling and waving."

Richard Fox started the called Build a Statue of Bradford Jesus Man to Honour a Local Hero page. Explaining why he started the page, Mr Fox, 46, of Idle, said: "Because there are not enough good things in Bradford and one of the good things in Bradford has died. We should honour him."


Mr Fox said other tribute ideas included spray-paintings of Mr Brindley at random points across the district or glass footprints. He added: "He always had a smile and a pleasant wave every time you saw him. He reached across all faiths."

Tributes have continued to pour in for Mr Brindley, who was well-known in the district and was regularly spotted walking the streets in a brown robe and sandals, with a satchel around his neck.

Among them is a rap song by 21-year-old Bradford man Leejay Roberts that he dedicated to Mr Brindley. On his Facebook page alongside a video of him rapping, Mr Roberts said: "Just something I wrote now paying my respects to a known legend from Bradford! I see it touched a lot of people today! Here's a little something from me!"

Mr Roberts, of Eccleshill, told the Telegraph & Argus that he wrote the rap in ten minutes on the back of an envelope, and said: "I saw him about for so many years and he was always just a jolly guy. When I was at school he would walk past the gates and all the kids would go and see him.

"The rap was my way of paying my respect. I'm still a bit gobsmacked by the reaction."

He added: "I have seen him everywhere, from one side of Bradford to the other."

Vicky Davis, 27, of Low Moor, has set up a Crowd Funding webpage in the hope of raising money towards a statue and towards the cost of Mr Brindley's funeral.

"We are doing it as part of the community to help his friends or family towards his funeral and statue," said Miss Davis, who added: "I once saw him in Newcastle.

"I also saw him in Bradford. He told me off once for smoking when I was younger. He said it was bad for me."

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