Bobby Ham has paid tribute to his former Bradford Park Avenue and City team-mate Gerry Lightowler, who has died aged 67.

Bradford-born Lightowler joined Park Avenue as an amateur in 1958 and signed as a full-time professional in September 1961 after completing his apprenticeship.

He made his debut in the last match of the 1958-59 season against Aldershot, which Avenue won 5-1, and went on to make 229 league and cup appearances as a dependable le left back, scoring two goals – one in the League and the other in the FA Cup.

He left Avenue in March 1968 and briefly played in the USA with Los Angeles Wolves before Jimmy Wheeler signed him for City that October.

Lightowler made 12 league and cup appearances for City in their Fourth Division promotion season before he was released at the end of the campaign.

Ham, who played alongside Lightowler at both Bradford clubs, said: “Gerry and his wife Sandra were our oldest sporting friends.

“Gerry was my oldest living sporting companion.

“He was a great lad with a fantastic sense of humour. He never complained and he never called anyone.

“He did everything he could to help people. I will miss him very much.

“His death is a loss to Bradford and sporting people in particular.”

Away from footballer, Lightowler took a keen interest in cricket was steward of Gomersal Cricket Club as well serving as an active member of their committee.