TRIBUTES have paid to a local hero and community champion in the Bradford Moor area of the city.

Haji Mohammad Qurban, 70, suffered a heart attack but died peacefully at Bradford Royal Infirmary on September 24.

"He was an ambassador, community champion and local hero in Bradford Moor," said Councillor Mahammed Shafiq (Lab, Bradford Moor). "He served as a volunteer for the last 20 years and his work in the community went a long way into making Bradford Moor a better place."

Mr Qurban was an active volunteer in keeping the Bradford Moor Park cleaner, greener and safer for the people living nearby.

He was a member of the Primrose Hill doctor surgery patient participation group which strived to improve services for patients.

"He was also a volunteer and member of masjid," said Cllr Shafiq. "He was a very devoted and committed person who was very genuine at heart.

"I knew Haji Qurban from my childhood and he was an inspirational individual who would support anyone and always had a smile on his face.

"I grew up with him. He was a close family friend. His family are devastated and very sad about losing a very happy husband, father and grandfather.

"I give my condolences to his family members for such a big loss.

"I spoke to him a day before he passed away and he told me that he wanted a brighter future for our district and young people.

"He was a very humble person who was respected by everyone and had friends from all walks of life."

Cllr Shafiq said Mr Qurban was a taxi driver before taking early retirement.

And although Cllr Shafiq said he had been in poor health of years, Mr Qurban stayed busy volunteering in the community and walking every day.

He was described as an uncle by many who knew him, as Cllr Shafiq said he "got along with old and young people, which was a credit to him".

"He was loved by all sections of the community and he always promoted community cohesion, working together and making Bradford a district to be proud of.

"He always spoke highly of people but he was also a vocal person who would speak out if things needed changing.

"The whole community of Bradford Moor is missing and praying for him to have a highest place in Jannat.

Cllr Zafar Iqbal (Lab, Bradford Moor) also paid tribute to Mr Qurban.

He said: "I saw him at Bradford Moor clean up events. He was a chatty and well-liked person. We referred to him as uncle. He is gone but not forgotten."