As I'm sure many of you will already be aware, especially after my Facebook post and from several others including Kerry, his daughter, but for those who don't know, my best friend, no, more than that, my brother Danny Hodge, sadly and suddenly passed away on Monday 15th of March.
My heart goes out to all his family and friends of which there are so many, at this saddest of times. He was a much-loved father and grandfather, brother, friend and coach.
Danny had sent me a text in the morning, as we'd been discussing the passing of the boxer, Marvin Hagler, so I was shocked to hear that just later the same day my friend, Danny "the hitman" Hodge had also gone.
I am utterly shattered and still in shock. Danny was my best friend for over 30 years, best man at my wedding and always there for me through thick and thin, good times and bad and never, ever let me down. He was the first person my wife thought to call when I was taken ill two years ago, and I know has been there for so many others too.
Danny made such a difference to so many people; he is a true inspiration. He could have been just another naughty boy turned bad, blaming everyone for his misfortune, but instead he turned his life around, becoming one of the top martial artists (Taekwondo) in the world, then turned his hand to the track, breaking the club record for the 400m hurdles and later a double world masters medallist over both 400m hurdles and the 4 x 400m relay. Danny was also the head chef at one of the country’s top prep schools and coached many talented young athletes to English school’s standards and beyond, with several winning medals and titles. He has helped guide young people onto great things both on and off the track and will be desperately and sadly missed by many.
His smile, his positivity, his energy and passion, his almost “Jedi” like wisdom and his conspiracy theories will be missed too. Danny is a "one off".
The word legend gets used all too often these days, but although perhaps not a TV celebrity, the word ‘legend’ fits Danny to a T and just the sound of his name could strike both fear and fun in to all who knew him.
There are so many stories I could tell you about the times we had together, as I'm sure many of you will also have. It was Danny's birthday just last week (58) and he was in Thailand. On Monday he had said he felt unwell so went outside to get some air, but collapsed and could not be resuscitated.
It was found that Danny had suffered a massive heart attack which had been brought on by long term chronic heart disease. This same man had been rock climbing the week before, running daily 5kms and circuit training on the beach so his untimely death is a devastating shock to us all.
As Danny is still in Thailand, his family and we all, want to bring him home as soon as possible but to do this will cost around £4,500 so we are appealing for help to raise the money to fly Danny back home. We appreciate that this year has been incredibly tough and financially tough on many so we are so humbled for any help received. Anything you can give will be dearly received and will make such a difference. Thank you so much for donating, reading or sharing and for helping bring the Hitman home.
- David Crossland
- Constance Kostrevski
- Emma Lehane
- Debbie Tipton
- susan garner
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