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Tributes paid after former crime reporter dies at 67

Tributes have been paid to a former crime reporter who spent nearly 40 years at a regional daily, after he died at the age of 67.

David Bruce, left, worked at the Yorkshire Evening Post for most of his career, working on some of the region’s biggest crime stories, including the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the M62 terrorist bombing in 1974 and the Michael Sams kidnapping case.

His career began in the mid-1960s when he became a copy boy for the paper, moving to train as a journalist at the Morley Observer before returning to the YEP in 1970, where he remained until his retirement in 2008.

David died on Monday surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer.

He became a crime reporter in 1973, succeeding noted journalist Frank Laws, and became known for his extensive network of contacts and ability to spot a story.

Bruce Smith, another former YEP crime reporter who worked with David for more than 30 years, said: “Dave was the reporter admired by many reporters, relied upon by news editors and trusted by readers.

“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, 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.”

David is survived by his wife Diane, daughters Deborah and Amanda and his grandchildren.

6 comments

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  • November 15, 2012 at 9:32 am
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    Sad loss, Dave was a top man and a YEP man through and through.

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  • November 15, 2012 at 9:45 am
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    A very sad loss so soon into a well-earned retirement. I had the privilege of working with Dave for many years and he was one of the best, dogged, determined and with one of the best contacts books in the business

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  • November 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm
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    Really sad news. I worked with David at the YEP and he had the best police contacts of any crime reporter I’ve ever known. He had a loud voice to go with his large personality.

    He was an old fashioned type of hack who built his contacts up by establishing friendships with police officers that went far beyond work.

    He’ll be much missed but he packed a lot into his 67 years.

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  • November 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm
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    Top man, top reporter. The modern media climate means there will be very few that will achieve as much in their career as he did.

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  • November 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm
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    Very sad news.

    ‘Superintendent’ Bruce was one of the true greats of regional newspapers and it was a privilege to work with him.

    My thoughts are with his family and his many, many friends in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

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  • December 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm
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    I met Dave 13 or 14 years ago, during a training course at the YEP. He immediately made me at ease. He was funny, very friendly, and a true reporter. My thougts are with his family, and all the colleagues he was always trying to cheer up when the mood was down.

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