Stacey Brewer, left, with the late TV comic Ernie Wise who died earlier this year. He was one of the many stars of stage and screen interviewed by Stacey over the years

Award-winning former Evening Press journalist Stacey Brewer has died at the age of 72.

In a career lasting over 40 years, Stacey became one of York's best known figures and covered most major news events in the city, including the York Minster fire of 1984.

He specialised in television and show business, meeting stars like The Beatles and Roy Orbison, and helping to promote the career of York's own musical master, John Barry.

Stacey had special responsibility for covering the continuing restoration of York Minster, and regularly reported York City Council meetings for 35 years.

Evening Press editor Liz Page said today: "Stacey was an Evening Press stalwart for more than 40 years. He was a man who could mix with showbiz stars and church leaders with equal ease.

"He will be greatly missed."

In 1986, Stacey was the first winner of Yorkshire Television's Feature Writer of the Year Award for his series of articles describing his personal experiences of a heart attack and subsequent open-heart surgery at Killingbeck Hospital, Leeds, after which he returned to full-time reporting.

In 1989 he was made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to provincial journalism.

As a freelance broadcaster he reported for BBC Radio's Eye Witness, Radio Newsreel and the Today programme, plus regional radio programmes, and interviewed for ITV's ABC Television, Tyne Tees Television and ITN.

He gained early broadcasting experience with the British Forces' Network, in Northern Italy, where he served with the RAF from 1946 to 1948.

Originally from Pickering, he attended the town's Lady Lumley's Grammar School, and joined the Evening Press in May 1949.

Stacey, who lived in Osbaldwick, York, leaves a widow, Jean, daughter Lynne and son Adrian, and grandchildren Tamsin and Alexander.

Tributes pour in for 'a journalist of old school'

by Andrew Hitchon and Adam Nichols

Tributes have flooded in for former Evening Press journalist Stacey Brewer, who died yesterday, aged 72.

Chris Brayne, former news editor and assistant editor of the Evening Press, said: "Stacey was a colleague who always enjoyed his job, which he coupled with a great sense of humour.

"He covered pretty well every major event in York for decades. Whatever the subject he could always be relied on to deliver his story with accuracy, balance, and - most importantly - on time."

Former Evening Press chief sub-editor Alan Potter said: "Stacey Brewer was without doubt one of the finest reporters the Evening Press ever had.

"He could turn his hand to any story and make it lively and interesting, and, above all, factually correct.

"He was held in the highest esteem by all his colleagues for his professionalism, and his fairness and accuracy earned him the respect and trust of the many people he wrote about during his long career.

"His sense of humour made him one of the great characters of the office, and many a young reporter owed much to the help and guidance he was always ready to give."

Former Evening Press colleague John Richardson said: "He was, I think, a first-class national newspaperman who liked working in local newspapers.

"He was a model for so many young journalists." John could not recall Stacey ever being challenged on the accuracy of one of his stories, and said he was held in very high regard by Archbishops of York and their staff.

Raymond Barker, former lay assistant to the Archbishop, said: "Stacey Brewer was a splendid man, one of the old school.

"He was absolutely straightforward - you knew where you stood with him and you knew you could trust him, and as a result of that he had built up an extremely good relationship with successive Archbishops and with many other people within the Church.

"His passing will be widely regretted; he was very well respected and inspired great affection."

Stacey, who was a senior journalist with the Evening Press for more than 40 years, was remembered with respect and fondness by City of York councillors who worked with him as he reported on local politics.

Coun Ken Cooper, who knew him for more than 25 years, said: "This is such a sad shock.

"I feel like I have lost a very close friend. He was a great man and this really is a terrible loss for the whole city.

"In my view he was the best political correspondent we in York have ever had. He was always very fair and meticulous in everything he reported and he was extremely well respected.

"Stacey loved this city and this news will shock a lot of people."

Coun Gerald Dean said: "Stacey Brewer was a most admired member of our York community and he will be greatly missed.

"He was a journalist and writer par excellence and so much a part of the news scene in York for so many years. All who knew him will be filled with sadness."

Liberal Democrat leader Steve Galloway said: "Stacey was the prime correspondent for the Evening Press when I first joined the council in 1973 and he was enormously helpful to me in terms of my relationship with the press.

"He was very supportive and very professional and I think the York community was greater for him because there were things that would have escaped public attention if it hadn't been for his professionalism."

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