TRIBUTES have been paid to highly respected former Yorkshire Evening Post crime reporter David Bruce, who has died aged 67.
Bruce, whose reporting career on the YEP spanned almost 40 years, died surrounded by his family following a battle with cancer.
During his time as crime reporter, the father-of-two worked on most of the region’s biggest news stories, including the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the M62 terrorist bombing in 1974 and the Michael Sams kidnapping case.
Paying tribute to him, Bruce Smith, another former YEP crime reporter, who worked beside him for more than 30 years, said: “Dave was the reporter admired by many reporters, relied upon by news editors and trusted by readers.”
Born in Hunslet, his first step into journalism came in the mid-1960s as a copy boy in the old Yorkshire Evening Post offices on Albion Street.
From there he went on to work at the Morley Observer, learning his craft before returning to the YEP in 1970.
In 1973, he became crime reporter and quickly established himself as an integral part of the news team, becoming known for his extensive network of contacts and uncanny ability to spot a story.
A fixture on the front page, he worked on the majority of high-profile murder cases in Leeds and beyond.
Smith added: “He was always a joker and always up for a laugh – but he could also always see a story where others could not.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Brennan, head of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET), said: “Throughout the majority of my, and many of my colleagues across the force’s careers, Dave Bruce was the words of media in West Yorkshire.
“He was an incredibly persistent and dogged investigative reporter who also had an innate sensitivity that put people at ease in what were often extremely difficult circumstances. Dave also had a great sense of humour and was a very funny and genuine man.
“He will be sadly missed but not forgotten.”
He retired in 2008. He is survived by his wife Diane, daughters Deborah and Amanda and his grandchildren.