October 15, 2020 | 5:30pm

ESPN NFL reporter Vaughn McClure died this week at his apartment in Atlanta. He was 48.

Most recently covering the Falcons, McClure had worked at ESPN since 2013 after spending six years covering the Bears at the Chicago Tribune.

“We all loved Vaughn,” said John Pluym, ESPN’s senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage. “He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we’ve heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player.

“Talking to Vaughn on the phone was always a joy. I loved how you could just sense the excitement in his voice for being able to cover the Falcons for ESPN. We will all miss him greatly. And I’ll end this the way Vaughn ended every phone call with a colleague: ‘Appreciate you. Love you.’ We all loved him, too.”

McClure, who also worked at the Chicago Sun-Times, Fresno Bee, South Bend Tribune and DeKalb Daily Chronicle, was a Chicago native, who graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994.

“People will probably remember how Vaughn was able to connect and develop trusting relationships with many of the athletes he covered, or how diligent he was about deadlines, or the countless times he volunteered to help out a colleague on another sport,” said Patricia Mays, senior director of content strategy and distribution at ESPN. “But what I respected most was how committed he was to continually improving. One of the last emails I received from him was asking for feedback. He wrote: ‘Would love to talk to you after the season about how I can get better at a lot of things. I want to be great at this job.’ “