Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford City fire hero David Hustler's funeral held

David Hustler

The funeral of a Bradford City fan who was hailed a hero for saving two people during a blaze that ripped through the club's ground in 1985 has been held.

David Hustler was awarded the Queens Gallantry medal for bravery after he rescued fans as the fire swept through Valley Parade killing 56 people.

He died after a short unexpected illness on 28 October, the club said.

Police said it was investigating his death after concerns were raised about his care at a residential home.

The 76-year-old's funeral was held at Nab Wood crematorium earlier.

West Yorkshire Police said its inquiry was "complex and delicate".

Det Sup Simon Atkinson said: "We are investigating the circumstances leading up to the death of Mr Hustler at Dewsbury and District Hospital on 28 October, 2015.

"This investigation has been prompted by concerns raised by his family at the time of his death regarding the care he had been receiving at the residential care home where he had been living in Heckmondwike."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than 55 people died in the 1985 fire at Bradford City's Valley Parade home ground

Mr Hustler's son, Simon, recalls how his dad put himself in great danger to save others.

"As he was trying to get out himself, he saw a lady just sat stunned on a chair. He just dragged her over all the chairs, threw her over a big wall.

"He was just about to get over {the wall} himself when he heard someone crying for help - a young man with his coat on fire. My dad said 'I couldn't leave him, I knew I had to get out but I just couldn't leave him' and he ran over and grabbed him."

In statement, Bradford City said Mr Hustler was "a well-known person among a large number of his fellow City supporters following his heroic actions during the 1985 Valley Parade fire disaster".

Hundreds attended a memorial service last year to mark the 30th anniversary of the fatal fire, which is thought to have been started accidentally when a lit cigarette was dropped under a wooden stand.

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