THE family of a Blackburn bus driver and a much-loved radio presenter have paid tributes to him.

Hundreds packed into the Madina Mosque in Oak Street to attend the funeral of Ghulam Rasul Choudhry who died aged 74 on Saturday, April 23, during the last 10 days in the month of Ramadan.

Mr Rasul had come to the UK in 1964 and went on to work as a bus driver for three decades. He was also well known for hosting his own show on Pendle Community Radio.

His son Shakeel Choudhry (speaking on behalf of all the family) said his father was someone everyone could relate to.

“He could transcend generations with his conversations. He would get on with so many people and it was something people will always remember.

 “To see many people attend the funeral was heart-warming to us as a family and very humbling. We are extremely grateful for the calls and messages of outpouring in their sadness and grief.

“People travelled from across the country to be at the funeral.

“He may only have had a five-minute conversation with some of them but he seemed to have left a lasting impression.”

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It was very rare for first generation immigrants to have images of themselves as children whilst in India and Pakistan. Mr Rasul (above top left) is later pictured alongside friends

Arriving in the mid-sixties Mr Rasul headed to London before settling in Burnley where he worked for Mullards and Smith and Nephews.

Later, he got a job as a bus driver and the family moved to Tenby Close, Blackburn.

A keen photographer, he also collected clocks and time pieces which he was very proud of. He was an avid traveller and completed the Route 66 in America, among other notable challenges across the Middle-East and North Africa.

Speaking to Shakil Salam in September last year on Pendle Community Radio Mr Rasul recounted in Urdu, growing up in the old city of Delhi where his father had been stationed in the Air Force.

During partition the family moved to the newly created Pakistan.

“It was a very difficult period to live through as many people will know and would have heard. We managed by the grace of God to arrive in Jhelum during August 1947.”

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The tables were turned on Mr Rasul as he was himself featured in a special Urdu show which detailed his own life. He told of his passion for radio which began decades ago.

He arrived in the UK a teenager via Karachi, adding: “It was exciting and scary for someone coming to the UK for the first time as you had no idea what to expect. 

“When I arrived in Burnley there were very few of our people at the time. We stayed in Stoneyholme.

“When I started working I was thankful that the local English people were very kind. They helped me a lot.”

He would later tell of his love for presenting radio shows, saying: “I had always loved listening to the radio growing up so I became passionate about presenting a show.

“In the beginning many years ago I had heard some friends were doing a pirate radio show using the old tapes and an aerial. We would spend the whole week putting the show together.”

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Mr Rasul had triple-bypass surgery in 2020 and had lost his brother Ghulam Nabi Choudhry in December 2021 which had deeply affected him.

Shakeel said: “We are all devastated following his passing and it has been a difficult time for all the family.

“But we have taken so much comfort and solace from people’s blessings.

“It has been truly amazing that there are so many lovely people out there.

“You were our king, our hero, our confidante. We will always be in awe of your mental strength and your patience. Your smile was one in a trillion. We  won’t let you down ever. Your memories and love will live within us all forever."

Mr Rasul's daughter Sameema added: "He taught us everything but just not how to live without him."

Mr Rasul is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren. He was buried at Pleasington Cemetery, Blackburn.