A highly decorated athlete who kept close links with his seaside hometown has died at the age of 93. 

An expatriate and Yarmouthian, Danny Daniels made a home for himself and his family 4,000 miles away in Canada during the 1950s. 

But he never forgot about his beloved county of Norfolk. 

And with Marjorie - his high school sweetheart and wife of more than 72 years – the couple continued to take an interest in matters pertaining to their birthplace.  

He lived by the expression: “You can take the boy out of Yarmouth, but it’s always home.” 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: A link with home expatriate Danny Daniels with his car in Canada in 1994

Born in 1930 in Southtown, Edwin Robert “Danny” Daniels attended Yarmouth Grammar School. 

He remained in the area with his family until they relocated to St Catherine’s Way in Gorleston

Aged 17, he was given the role of school prefect and became an NCO (non-commissioned officer) in the Army Cadet Force. 

As a result, he was asked to give some drill instruction to the Yarmouth Girl’s Training Corps who in turn asked him to take part in their Christmas pantomime, Cinderella.

It was here, as one of the Ugly Sisters, he met Marjorie as she was playing Cinderella. The daughter of an engine driver, she lived in Lime Kiln Walk, off North Quay.

As a member of the Army Cadet Force, he was invited to take part in physical instructor training at Aldershot, Hampshire.

He was then asked by the grammar school headmaster, Alan Palmer, to take some of the PT classes. This prompted him to think of a career as a physical education teacher, 

Athletics was a major part of his life, and his interest was spurred when he shared the school’s Victor Ludorum (overall sports champion) with another pupil in 1947. 

He was also a county champion in the one mile and half-mile events. 

Up until 1947, he would register himself in events as a member of Great Yarmouth Athletics Club (AC) – despite it not existing.

It was not until 1973 that the Great Yarmouth & District AC opened. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Danny Daniels

He eventually transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich AC

Dr Daniels went on to study physical education, then went into teaching before emigrating with his wife to Canada in 1957, gaining a Bachelor of Education degree and becoming a school superintendent. 

He transferred to Federal Government service as district superintendent of Indian Schools for Northern Alberta.  

Later, he returned to university to graduate in 1973 with a PhD in educational administration. 

Recruited by the Canadian International Development Agency, the couple and their young family spent two years in Nigeria where he both headed a university department and was involved in a United Nations study into that country’s elementary education.

Back in Canada, he went to Ottawa as national director for Indian elementary and secondary education. 

Because his doctoral dissertation examined the legal context of First Nation education in Canada, he became involved in the development of the Indian Act legislation, was appointed director of research. 

He finished his 25 years with the department as regional director-general for the Yukon and Northern British Columbia, with responsibility over a land area as big as Scotland. 

On the sports administration side, Dr Daniels was president of the Canadian Masters Athletic Association as well as two provincial athletic associations and vice chairman of Athletics Canada. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Danny Daniels competing at a veterans’ athletes meeting in Canada

In 1997 he was inducted into the Canadian Road Running Hall of Fame. Internationally, he was on the IAAF Masters committee for more than a decade. 

He also became head of delegation for the Canadian team at the World Athletics Championships, and led it at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

Despite undergoing quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2006, he went on and led Canadian teams at the Paralympic Championships in Helsinki and Holland, the Pan-American championships in Rio de Janerio, and the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008. 

In 2011, he was also installed as an Honorary Fellow of Brunel University in London, England. 

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Danny and Marjorie Daniels, expanding their repertoire by taking up tap-dancing in their 80s

And in the early 2000s, the couple embarked on a new venture requiring stamina and agility: tap-dancing classes. 

He was also a tenor soloist and choral conductor. 

Dr Daniels is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, step grandchildren, and great grandchildren. 

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