A POPULAR Bradford City fan, who escaped the Valley Parade Fire Disaster, sadly passed away earlier today with a brain tumour.

Paul Firth wrote about his harrowing experience on that fateful May day in 1985 in his 2005 book, Four Minutes To Hell: The Story Of The Bradford City Fire.

He suffered from smoke inhalation, while father-in-law Arnold Whitehead broke a rib and endured burns to his scalp, which required a skin graft.

Mr Firth, a former stipendary magistrate and district judge who retired in 2005, estimated that sales of his book have raised thousands for the Bradford Burns Unit.

In 2009, he contributed just short of another £1,000 to the unit by completing the City of Salford 10k race in under 60 minutes.

Mr Firth also co-wrote popular former City striker Bobby Campbell's autobiography, They Don’t Make Them Like Him Anymore.

Announcing the sad news, Mr Firth's son David said: "A few on here (Twitter) will know my Dad, Paul Firth.

"I’m sorry to share that he passed away peacefully this morning with his family by his side.

"He wanted no fuss but if you’d like to then please contribute to Brain Tumour Research in his memory.

"After being diagnosed in October with a brain tumour, he underwent surgery and treatment for a stage 4 glioblastoma.

"Unfortunately the tumour was too strong and he passed away peacefully at home on April 8th with his family by his side.

"Brain tumours affect people seemingly indiscriminately and little funding is available to prevent and treat them. In Paul’s memory we’d like to help change that."

To make a donation, follow this link.