‘Tragic loss’ of ex-detective during Leeds boot camp training UPDATED

Tony Lewis, left, with other BMF particpants
Tony Lewis, left, with other BMF particpants
Have your say

The widow of a former detective who died during an army boot camp-style fitness session in Leeds has paid tribute to “an amazing husband and father”.

Tony Lewis, who served across Leeds during a 30-year career with West Yorkshire Police, suffered a heart attack while taking part in British Military Fitness (BMF) at Roundhay Park on Saturday.

Despite first aid at the spot the 53-year-old father of two died in front of dozens of other participants.

His widow, Mel, said: “The loss we’re feeling is immense.

“Tony was an amazing husband and father and my best friend. He was fun loving and always had a smile on his face and he was so kind.

“I will miss him for the rest of my life.”

BMF was founded in 1999 as an alternative form of fitness training to gyms, with motivation provided by military-trained instructors.

There are more than 400 classes across the UK, including Roundhay, Horsforth Hall Park, Springhead Park in Rothwell and Wellington Place in Leeds city centre.

Participants have to fill in and sign a health questionnaire before taking part.

Mr Lewis, who had attended BMF sessions for several years and was a member of the group that took part in the most demanding exercises, collapsed shortly after the warm-up.

Mrs Lewis said she does not believe his death – the first at a BMF event – was linked to over-exertion.

Mr Lewis joined the police in 1982. He retired as a detective sergeant in 2012 but rejoined as an intelligence development officer.

Det Chief Supt Chris Rowley said: “We have all been left shocked and saddened. Tony was a very popular member of staff.”

A BMF spokeswoman said: “This is a tragic loss for the BMF community and our thoughts are with Tony’s family and friends at this difficult time.

“He has attended BMF sessions for the past five years, was very well respected, and was an inspiration to others. His energy, enthusiasm and dedication will be sorely missed.”


Hundreds of young Leeds people ‘are slipping through the NEET net’