Tributes to ex-YEP man Richard, a journalist ‘without equal’

Richard Spencer.
Richard Spencer.
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Tributes have been paid to a former Yorkshire Evening Post journalist who spent more than 30 years reporting the news in Yorkshire.

Richard Spencer – known as ‘Spender’ to his friends and colleagues – was regarded as a talented and tenacious journalist with an acid wit and an innate sense of style.

A graduate of the London School of Economics, he started his career on local weekly newspapers with the Harrogate-based Ackrill Group, moving to Bradford’s Telegraph & Argus and then to the YEP, where he was a key figure in the newsroom in the 1980s and 1990s both as a reporter and news editor.

After a brief stint at the Barnsley Chronicle, he joined the Press Association (PA) where, as night editor of its newswire service, he was responsible for the output of 100 journalists across the UK and Ireland.

In 2000, he moved into public relations, to edit a multi award-winning NHS publication and went on to play a key role in public sector communications for Atlas Media Group and later as operations director of the Tribal Group plc’s subsidiary, Kindred.

He returned to journalism in 2012 as managing editor of a PA company, Sticky Content, where he stayed until his untimely death from cancer earlier this week, aged 55.

A devoted father and husband, Richard was a colourful rock ‘n’ roll character who lived life to the full, enjoying music, food, fashion, cars and travel.

“He was always so cool,” said Yorkshire Television news presenter Christine Talbot.

Long-serving former YEP features editor Anne Pickles said: “Richard was a big-hearted rogue with a limitless sense of fun – a journalist and man without equal. Spender will be remembered as exceptional. And I think he might like that.”

Richard leaves a wife, Jackie, five daughters – Molly, Hannah, Katusha, Sophia and Gabriella – and six grandchildren.

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