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In Memoriam: Jon Bruce


Sheffield Eagles are saddened to hear of the passing of popular prop forward Jon Bruce, at the age of 51.

Jon was battling terminal back and brain cancer and being cared for at the amazing St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds.

Known as ‘Brucie’ to all that had the pleasure of meeting the big man, he will be sorely missed by all and the Eagles would like to send our condolences and best wishes to his family and friends at this sad time.

“A big man with a big heart,” commented Mark Aston.

“He was certainly one of the characters of the ‘new club’ - starting in the first game and also scoring the first try too. He’ll go down in the club’s history as a very popular individual.

“The life and soul of the party and we want him to be remembered for that.

“The fans took to him with the song “He’s big, he’s round, he’s worth a million pound Jonny Bruce!”

“I know people may have fallen out with him but the nice thing about rugby is that all his friends were around him at the end. That’s what he wanted. His wife Helen was there too.

“He wanted to make up as much as he could and that was the most pleasing thing, people that he played with all got around him and spent time with him.

“Jeff Wittenburg spent a night with him, Gavin Brown took a curry into the hospice for him. It speaks volumes what rugby meant to him and what the rugby people meant to him.

"He wanted his wife Helen there and she made the journey from Scotland. She spent the week with him.

“They were the things he wanted. He wanted to make peace and once he did that, he said he’d ticked all the boxes he wanted to before he could go.

“He was at peace with his heart, that he’d got the right people around him.

“About the character he is, he asked a few days ago ‘what day is it?’ Helen said that it’s Monday and his response was “That’s a s**t day, I’m not going to die today!”

“I got a phone call on Tuesday night and shot over Wednesday morning, spent four hours with him and a couple of those were the Jonny Bruce we all know - calling me a fat b*****d and the usual abuse he’d give me.”

Aston also wants to pay tribute to the amazing work of St Gemma’s Hospice, where Jon was being cared for.

“St Gemma’s were outstanding in the time I spent there.

“There are going to be some broken people because, as he did, Jonny built relationships.

"He had relationships with everyone there. The end-of-life care he got there was unbelievable.

“Helen stopped there a full week from last Thursday, stopped in his room all night and put a smile on his face towards the end.

“That’s what he wanted and St Gemma’s were absolutely fantastic, it has to be said.

“To Jon, thank you for the memories.”

Rest in Peace, Jon.