Remembering driver from Leeds is the right route for bus firm

Left to right, Bob Dorr, Lynne Howard and John Quansah.
Left to right, Bob Dorr, Lynne Howard and John Quansah.
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His cheery manner made him a firm favourite with passengers on the buses he drove in Leeds for nearly 20 years.

Now, six months on from Manni Howard’s death, his old bosses at First have paid tribute to his work by naming a double decker after him.

And, fittingly, the bus will run on the 49 route between Bramley and Monkswood Gate where he was a regular driver.

Manni died aged 50 in July from an illness caused by liver cancer that had initially been diagnosed in 2011.

Based at First’s Bramley depot on Henconner Lane, he joined the bus industry in 1995 after working as a trained upholsterer.

Manni was also well known in Leeds city centre from his time as a doorman at venues including the now-closed Big Lil’s bar on the Headrow.

The idea of calling a bus after him was suggested by his First colleague John Quansah and backed by Bob Dorr, the firm’s business manager in Leeds.

The newly-named double decker was unveiled earlier this week by Manni’s widow Lynne in a ceremony at the Bramley depot.

Lynne said: “He loved the job and really enjoyed meeting people.

“Everyone at First Bus, Leeds General Infirmary and Wheatfields Hospice has been terrific.”

She went on: “We’ll always miss Manni but having his name on a Leeds 49 bus is a wonderful tribute.”

Mr Dorr said: “Manni was very well liked by all his colleagues and customers and we’re proud to have one of our 400 buses in Leeds named after him.”

First is the biggest bus operator in Leeds.

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