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Stars pay moving tribute to brave Daniel

PUBLISHED: 15:37 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:35 25 August 2010

TEARS: African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

TEARS: African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust

TRIBUTES have poured in for a charismatic 21-year-old who has inspired hope for cancer sufferers.

TRIBUTES have poured in for a charismatic 21-year-old who has inspired hope for cancer sufferers.

The Duchess of York and stars from music, soap, film and sport were among those to attend the emotional funeral of Daniel De-Gale at Croydon Parish Church on Friday.

Mr De-Gale had fought a battle against leukaemia since being diagnosed aged six, leading his mother Beverley and step dad Orin Lewis to set up the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT) in 1996.

He had been working as a physio with Dartford Football Club's academy squad before his death on October 8 as part of a sports therapy university course.

Dartford FC members paid their respects alongside Former Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright, patron of the ACLT, and a host of celebrities who have been touched by Mr De-Gale's courage.

Mr Wright, who met Daniel in 1994, said: "His inner strength was huge when you think what he had to deal with, there was a lot of positivity in the way he went about his life."

Dartford FC academy player Emmanuel Folarin, 17, of Crowden Way, Thamesmead said: "When his friends and family gave tributes in church I wanted to cry, I thought 'yes, that's how he was with me'.

"He was friendly, someone who listened. If I was sad he would encourage me, pick me up and tell me not to give up. He didn't tell us about what he had been through.

"I was in shock when I was told he died, Daniel is a loss to our team."

A bone marrow transplant in 1999 had left Mr De-Gale in remission but his health quickly deteriorated earlier this month and he died of multiple organ failure.

Black people currently have a one in 100,000 chance of finding a suitable match compared to one in five for white people.

To register as a bone marrow donor visit www.aclt.org or contact 0208 240 4480.

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