The Lord Mayor of Bradford has told how he returned to his civic duties just hours after undergoing major surgery.

Councillor Shabir Hussain was hospitalised with Covid-19 just before starting his term in office and, most recently, suffered a heart attack.

“Life is short, you don’t know when you’re going to take your next breath,” Cllr Hussain reflected.

“I had a heart attack, my doctors said ‘eight weeks to go home’ but I was back out in two weeks. I had Covid first.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pictured, Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Shabir Hussain and Dr Manoj Joshi.Pictured, Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Shabir Hussain and Dr Manoj Joshi.

Describing the hours after a stent was fitted on his heart, he said: “Somebody rang me six times about housing and I picked up. I didn’t tell him I was in hospital, I didn’t say I’d just come out of surgery.

“Life is so precious to every one of us. We’ll be remembered by the good things we did in this life.”

It is these experiences which inspired the biggest fundraising mission of his life so far.

Before handing over his chains of office, Cllr Hussain will host The Lord Mayor’s Civic Cultural Ball at The Bradford Hotel.

Held on May 13, 2022, the ball will be the Lord Mayor’s final fundraising push for his chosen charities, Marie Curie Hospice and Bradford Community Kitchen.

Cllr Hussain said: “It’s probably the biggest event that I’ll probably have. We’ve got everybody from different countries there. We’ve got somebody from the Sikh community, Muslim community, people from different backgrounds, different countries, requesting a table.

“We’re all together, this is us – that’s what the message is for this ball.”

Speaking on his term, he said: “I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”

There will be a three course meal and performances from Punjabi drummers, Bollywood singers and dancers and other entertainers throughout the evening.

Dr Manoj Joshi DL, a successful philanthropist, businessman and pharmacist, has been helping the Lord Mayor prepare for the big day.

Dr Joshi said: “It’s to celebrate the diversity and the very best of Bradford. Young, old, businesses, faith leaders, community leaders, everybody uniting in harmony for two good causes and to celebrate the mayoral year.

“The Lord Mayor has been putting the duties of the Lord Mayor first. He’s admirable. He’s lead from the front. He’s put the people of Bradford first. Amazing man.”

Anyone who wishes to enquire about a table or being a guest at the fundraiser should contact Emma Walker, the Lord Mayor’s Officer, on 07970828597.