A FORMER cab firm owner and amateur sportsman has lost his battle against cancer.

Haji Asghar Ali established Escort Taxis in 1991 and was a well-known community figure in his home town of Nelson. He was also a keen footballer, cricketer and volleyball player. 

The father-of-four died, aged 60, on Saturday, with the funeral taking place at Nelson’s Ghausia Mosque.

Born in Pakistan, Asghar came to the UK in the early Seventies and went on to play for the first Asian football team in Lancashire, Paak United.

Lifelong friend Saeed Afsar said Asghar loved sport from a young age and excelled at whatever he took part in.

He said: “Football was tough for a team made up of predominantly Asian players in them days. But Asghar and his team mates just let the football do the talking. 

“He played cricket for Watan and Punjab in local leagues and competitions. He was a great batter and bowler.

“But his real love was volleyball and he was an accomplished player and captained Nelson in tournaments across the UK. They were always coming home with trophies and the Nelson side were known throughout."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Asghar is seated here front centre

Asghar helped to established Escort Taxis in Colne and also came up with the cab firm’s ‘famous’ number 86-87-88.

Saeed said: “He was the original founder of the firm and then we sold it on in the mid-nineties. It is nice to see the firm still going and they still use that number.

“Asghar then ran the Tandoori takeaway for a few years which was located next to the cab firm.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Asghar was father to Muhammad Harris, Kanval, Maryah and Muhammad Tahmoor.

He had spent the past few years taking care of his grand-daughter, who died at the age of 16.

Saeed said: “A lot of people would have come across Asghar in Nelson, Brierfield and Colne. He would always go out of his way to help anyone. He had a very good-natured character about him.

“He really was a lovely person and a great person to know and truly inspirational. He will be missed by a lot of people.”