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News > OP updates > Obituaries > Daniel Finch RIP

Daniel Finch RIP

Daniel Finch OP 2014
19th August 1996 to 12th December 2021

Daniel attended PGS from year 7 until he completed the sixth form in 2014. He was a young man, full of life and energy. An individual, always, but with a ready smile and a great sense of fun.

Daniel moved to Hambledon with his family, when he was a toddler, he lived a full part in the community attended the pre-school and village school, the Finch family were a great sight riding to Hambledon school up the hill on a three seater bike, Daniel in theory towing his sister behind Helen (his mum) – nearly effortlessly of course, waving to friends. Daniel had his feet off the pedals and Helen was doing all the work! He was a strong lad both within and out, and, when he found something believed he could achieve, he was really hard working. Helen tells of how at Portsmouth Grammar he probably worked as hard at perfecting his magic tricks for school assemblies as he did at his academic studies. After a School Employers visit evening, he came home and announced he was going to be an engineer and that was where his attention was focussed, he was awarded an Arkwright Scholarship for talented young engineers and was on his way. He played Hockey for the school and through this that he learnt the importance of teamwork, this would frame his university career.

He learnt other skills: In the Finch household Daniel was quick to discover that the person who had cooked the meal was excused the washing up. By becoming an excellent cook, Daniel not only substantially improved the quality of his meals, he got to eat the things he enjoyed the most and pretty much always avoided the washing up. Not many teenagers leave for university at the start of each term having stocked up their parent’s freezer with delicious meals to keep them going until they return. But Daniel loved cooking, and Daniel loved his family and friends. His main way of expressing his love and care was through service – to show his love through making food, mending broken things, drawing cards and posters and creating beautiful gifts. As his friend and housemate Jake says ‘there was a lot of love in Daniel, even if he wasn’t always the best at expressing it, he preferred to show his affection through acts of generosity’.

At university Daniel learnt to love the Welsh and the Welsh Rugby and Helen says: He also discovered that passing end-of-year exams requires more of that previously mentioned hard work than at first imagined, and that the sport that he really wanted to play was Ultimate Frisbee. Beginning as a Fresher and moving through to Captain and then President Dan was at the heart of the Cardiff Frisbee Club – ‘No Frills’ for 5 years. He took part in tours around the UK and abroad, learning to drive the minibus and taking on the role of Tour Dad, with his famously bad Dad jokes and real kindness and inspiration for the team. Most importantly for that highly motivated individual, in the five years at Cardiff Daniel never lost a Varsity match, rounding off his time with the team and a huge Varsity win by scoring the winning point in his last official match for the club in 2019, after which the whole team piled on to the pitch to celebrate with him.

Returning to Hambledon and while hunting for the ideal engineering role Daniel continued to exploit the creative and hard-working side of his character, taking on a wide range of jobs around the village and further afield. Working first alongside his father he began with some house renovations and became adept at kitchen fitting. He continued to expand his roles working on his own and adding fencing, pond repairs, pond construction, steps and gateways to his skills set. By the summer of 2021 he had finally tracked down that engineering role he had set his heart on while at school and started work at Apollo in Havant. Here he quickly made an impression with his practical engineering skills. Here too he could use his creative side in the design and development part of his role and was soon in the process of getting his first designs signed off for production.

Early in 2021 Daniel also joined his local Frisbee club, Guildford Ultimate, and became a regular at their training sessions and matches where once again it was his passion, kindness, optimism and legendary dives that were cherished.

Behind all this joy and kindness, was also a very private person. Daniel would usually walk away from conflict and confrontation rather than engage. And this brings us to his death. He was in the best of places in December 2021. A fulfilling job that he’d always wanted and a visit to family and then friends in Cardiff. He had plans to meet up with more friends in the Lake District, then Frisbee tournaments in the diary through to January. But following a frisbee tournament in Guildford Dan went on to the evening party. He was asked to leave the party by Security in the early hours, having had too much to drink. In a typical Daniel response, he chose to take himself away from his friends and try to deal with this on his own, and in a tragic series of events ended up making contact with the third rail on the nearby railway line. There is no evidence that Daniel chose to put himself in such danger.

What has shone through in Daniel is the esteem in which was held and the love expressed by his many friends. His quirks – taking cheese with him on a night out, being simultaneously obsessed with WW2 documentaries and Disney musicals, his unmatched commitment to fancy dress. His patience when teaching beginners at Frisbee and celebrating their improvements. His love of being with children of all ages, cooking with them or developing their scouting skills. Daniel was all of these things, and we are all the better for having had him in our life.

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