Tom Daley’s father dies at 40
Tom Daley’s father, Rob, has died after losing his battle with cancer.
British Swimming announced that the 17-year old diving world champion’s father, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2006, passed away peacefully with his family at his side at 9.35pm last night.
“His health has been fluctuating since February but he continued to fight until the last day, defying doctors’ expectations,” said the statement.
“The family have asked for respect to their privacy during this very difficult period.”
Daley, who turned 17 last week, last night wrote on his Twitter page: “I love you so much Dad.”
Daley’s father gave up his electrician’s business so he could accompany his prodigious son to all events, famously interrupting the press conference after he won the world title in Rome two years ago to give him a tearful hug.
A routine scan last February revealed his cancer had spread and the resulting chemotherapy forced him to watch Daley win gold at the Commonwealth Games on television.
He had previously spoken of his anguish that his illness could cause him to miss his son compete at next year’s Olympics.
In 2010, he said: “‘I wonder if I’ll make 2012, or see grandchildren. I do think, ‘Why me?’
“London 2012 is a massive motivation for me. And I am going to be there. Tom is the oil in my lamp and he’s going to keep me burning.”
Last month Daley’s determination to watch his son, despite his illness, was clear as he dashed to Sheffield to watch Tom and synchro partner Peter Waterfield claim their first gold medal at the FINA World Series event.