Sikh community’s shock at Leeds businessman’s sudden death

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a Leeds businessman and respected member of the Sikh community who died suddenly aged 40 after suffering suspected heart failure.

More than 1,000 mourners gathered at the Ramgarhia Sikh Centre in Sheepscar for the funeral of father-of-two Rashpal Singh Bansal, of Moortown.

Leeds United fan Mr Bansal, who leaves daughters Harleen aged eight and five-year-old Karam, was well-known through his work as head graphic designer at the family’s printing business in Woodhouse.

Mr Bansal’s brother Gurvinder, 37, also of Moortown, said Rashpal suffered suspected heart failure at home on February 5 and was taken to St James’s Hospital.

Attempts to revive him proved unsuccessful and Mr Bansal was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Gurvinder said: “Everyone is deeply shocked, not just in the Sikh community, but a lot of other communities as well. He was a fit guy, he was in to going to the gym and walking.”

The Sikh community rallied to provide catering for more than 1,000 mourners at Mr Bansal’s funeral at the Ramgarhia centre in Sheepscar on February 16.

Mr Bansal – a third generation Sikh from India who was born in Leeds – began work aged 18 at family business Bansal Printers, of Woodhouse, which was started by his father Surinder, 63.

Mr Bansal’s uncle Bhupinder Singh Bansal and father Surinder continue to run the business.

Gurvinder, a Liverpool supporter, said: “Rashpal was a massive Leeds United fan. He loved going to Elland Road. Sometimes we would go together to games. I just stayed quiet when they scored.”

Gurvinder added: “He was generous with his time and money. He was very much a family man and he did a lot for his children as well as his nephews and nieces.”

Mr Bansal’s cousin Jagdeep Singh Bansal, said: “Rashpal was someone I would always turn to for support and advice. He would always make the time, his generosity had no boundaries.”

Mr Bansal also leaves his wife Ravinder, 38; mother Hermanjit, 62, and sister Kamaldeep, 31.