Billy Ingham, a member of City’s promotion-winning squad in 1982, has died after a long illness aged 57.

Ingham played 87 games for the Bantams, scoring five times, after George Mulhall snapped him up from Burnley for £30,000 in 1980.

A tigerish central midfielder with distinctive ginger hair, team-mates from that time likened him to Billy Bremner.

Mark Ellis recalled: “He was a little battler who would tackle anything. He probably never passed the ball more than five or ten yards but he worked really hard for the team.

“He was a Bremner type of player, especially with his hair colour, and was very popular in the dressing room.”

Barry Gallagher remembers someone who was always full of life.

He said: “Billy was such a bubbly lad. He was one of the real characters in the team and would always have a smile on his face.

“I was one of the youngsters coming through and he was great with giving you advice. He’d pull you to one side and suggest you do this or that – it was a great help to all the younger lads.

“Billy wasn’t a big fella but he loved to get stuck in. He didn’t care how big the opponent was.”

City were promoted from Division Four in Ingham’s second year but injury forced him to miss the final two months.

It effectively finished his professional career at the age of 29 and he was released to join Accrington before becoming a bus driver.

Before joining City, Ingham was very popular at Burnley and earned the nickname ‘Ginger Pele’ for a memorable goal against Chelsea at Turf Moor.

During last season’s push towards the Premier League, one Burnley bakery were selling ‘Ginger Pele’ gingerbread men in claret and blue kits.