Tom Daley Dad: The father of Tom Daley, the teenage British diving champion, has died at the age of 40 after a battle with brain cancer. Tom was the youngest of three sons.
With his family by his side, Robert Daley passed away quietly late on Friday night after traveling the world to watch his son’s professional career despite his sickness. He had become a regular face at the poolside and at press conferences.
Despite the fact that his health had been worsening since February when it was confirmed that a tumor had returned five years after he was initially diagnosed with cancer, Robert Daley had been holding out hope that he would be able to watch his son participate at the 2012 Olympics in London.
A homage to his father was posted on Twitter by the 17-year-old diver, who lives with his family in Plymouth and is now the world platform champion “If I could be half the father to my children that my father was to me, it would be my greatest accomplishment! I’m madly in love with you!”
He had attended all of his son’s activities up to the Commonwealth Games last year when a tumor resurfaced and he was obliged to stay at home due to the illness of a family member. His determination to support his son never wavered, and he traveled to Sheffield with his family late last month to witness Tom and his synchro partner Peter Waterfield win their first gold medal as a team in the World Series finals.
Daley was born in Plymouth, Devon, England, to Debbie (née Selvester) and Robert Daley. He is the son of Debbie and Robert Daley. he has two younger brothers: William, who is three years younger than he is, and Ben, who is five years younger than he is Daley’s father, Robert, died on May 27, 2011, from a brain tumor at the age of 40, only a few days after Daley celebrated his 17th birthday.
Alexandre Despatie of Canada, who won a gold medal in the 1998 Commonwealth Games at the age of 13, was one of his diving idols when he was younger. Another diving idol was British diver Leon Taylor, who subsequently became his coach.
Daley was discovered by a diving instructor while participating in regular diving sessions, and he was invited to join a competitive diving group in September 2002. His first competition was the National Novice Championships in April 2003, when he placed second in the 8/9-year-old boy’s division and earned a gold medal for his efforts.
During an invitational tournament in Southampton, in September 2003, he won the 1m, 3m, and platform events, establishing himself as a household name among a larger audience for the very first time. A three-time champion at the British Championships, Daley has won the 1 m springboard, 3 m springboard, and platform in each of the years 2004, 2005, and 2006.