Tributes paid to respected ex-journalist David Stoakes
TRIBUTES have been paid to a life-long journalist whose career took him from newsroom teaboy to the national papers and on to crime reporter on the South Wales Evening Post.
David Stoakes got his first taste of journalism as a 16-year-old tea boy on a local paper, and went on cover some of the biggest stories of the 1960s and 1970s including the Brady and Hindley murders, the Yorkshire Ripper, and the troubles in Northern Ireland for The Sun and The Daily Express.
He later moved to South Wales with his Pontardawe-born wife, and joined the Evening Post, where he was a respected crime reporter for more than a decade.
Mr Stoakes died last week, aged 69.
His wife, Helen, said: "He fulfilled his dream of becoming a reporter — he worked his way up from being a tea boy to being a top reporter on the national papers.
"He loved his job and he loved the travel, and would set off for assignments at the drop of hat.
"He was hard working and was a man of integrity, and was somebody you could always rely on."
Mr Stoakes was born in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, and after school began working on a local Buckinghamshire paper.
Aged 19 he got a job on the Ammanford Guardian, and while covering a job at the town's Drill Hall met his future wife — Helen Eadie.
He went on to work for the Birmingham Post, and then spent two decades working for The Sun and then The Daily Express in Manchester.
In 1987 he moved to South Wales to be near his wife's family, and later began work at the South Wales Evening Post, where he was crime reporter for more than a decade.
A life-long Notts County football fan, in latter years the dad-of-four played a leading role in an online fan forums for the club.
Dozens of messages of condolence have been posted by fellow supporters on the site since the news of his death broke.
Mr Stoakes's funeral service will take place in Coychurch Crematorium, Bridgend, on Friday, at 11am.