Jay Blades joins Bradford City footballer to thank local lockdown hero in Jay's Yorkshire Workshop

Tonight's Jay's Yorkshire Workshop sees Billy Clarke nominate Qasim, a young man who helped provide meals for those in need in Bradford. Stephanie Smith reports.

Jay Blades and Qasim at Bradford City in tonight's episode of Jay's Yorkshire Workshop.
Jay Blades and Qasim at Bradford City in tonight's episode of Jay's Yorkshire Workshop.

Former Bradford City footballer Billy Clarke joins Jay Blades on screen tonight in BBC2’s Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop to nominate Qasim, a young local man who galvanised the club and others to provide meals for people in the city left in financial difficulties during lockdown.

Irishman Billy, who had three spells at City, helping the team reach the League One play-offs between 2014 and 2017, announced his retirement from football last month at the age of 33.

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When asked by Jay why he nominated Qasim, he says: “I’ve had first-hand experience with Qasim and of the work that he does in the community, helping the local people of Bradford city and, especially at a time like this, he deserves everything he has.”

Billy Clarke, far left, joins Jay Blades and Qasim at Bradford City in tonight's episode of Jay's Yorkshire Workshop.

In tonight’s episode, expert woodworker Ciaran and his team make Qasim a personalised snooker cue to say thank you. On presenting the piece, Jay asks Qasim, “Why do you do it? Why do you go beyond?” Qasim says: “I don’t see it as going beyond. This is our role, our responsibility and we live in this community. Love thy neighbour and all that.”

Qasim adds: “There has obviously been a lack of income for people, I guess during this time it’s been difficult and just not knowing where your next meal will come from. If the demand is there in the community, then that’s what we’re there for, and I see it as our responsibility.”

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In last week's episode, Bradford tailor Imran Khan was recognised for his community work and given a wooden frame featuring a photo of him with his father. Sadly, since the programme was recorded in Little Germany earlier this year, Imran's father, Mohammed Zamir, who suffered from dementia, has died aged 67.

Imran, who runs IK Collections based in Westgate, Bradford, said he would treasure his gift, made to thank him for his work helping elderly people and making scrubs during the first lockdown last year.

Jay’s Yorkshire Workshop airs tonight at 9pm on BBC2.