Sudden loss | 

Tributes paid after young Co Down man (21) dies within days of cancer diagnosis

It’s understood Daniel Donnan experienced a dizzy spell in the gym and numbness down one side of his body

Daniel Donnan

Brett CampbellBelfast Telegraph

Tributes have been paid to a young Co Down bowler who died days after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Daniel Donnan from Donaghadee was taken to hospital after he suddenly fell ill towards the end of last week.

It’s understood he experienced a dizzy spell in the gym and numbness down one side of his body.

The 21-year-old was rushed to the Ulster Hospital where he was treated for a bleed to the brain, but medical tests revealed tumours which had already spread to his brain and lungs.

Two days ago, friends at Bangor Bowling Club took to social media asking the local community to keep Daniel and his family in their thoughts and prayers.

Yesterday they confirmed their beloved friend had passed away.

Club secretary Thomas Cannavan said the small knit community is in shock and struggling to cope with the sudden loss — including Daniel’s father Brian who is also a member.

“Everyone is just completely devastated,” he said.

“We still can’t believe it, this all happened in a matter of days.”

Daniel had been in touch with fellow team members from his hospital bed saying he was looking forward to the bowling season starting in a few weeks before he received the tragic diagnosis.

“Then there was conversations about emergency chemotherapy and we wanted to go and see him but we were told we would have to wait until next week —that chance never came.”

“It’s absolutely heart-breaking for us.”

Thomas paid an emotional tribute to his “talented” friend who he described as a “a lovely gentleman on and off the green”.

“In 2018 he was the under-25 runner up in the Northern Ireland Bowling Association (NIBA) Championships,”

“He won the under-18 singles in 2019 which allowed him to compete in the Irish championships which he did, but was beaten in the final.

“He won the Bangor pairs competition recently and has won a whole host of domestic leagues and cups.

“He had a bright future, he loved the game and he loved our club which is about more than just competing.”

Tributes have been pouring in from bowling clubs throughout Northern Ireland and around the UK.

Including from the president of Donaghadee Bowling Club who passed on condolences to the Donnan family on behalf of all members.

“We would also like to pass our condolences to all his club teammates at Bangor Bowling Club,” a post on social media read.

“We at Donaghadee Bowling club have many fond memories and stories of Daniel and I’m sure over the next few weeks and months as we meet up with friends from the bowling community we will share those.

“The club pass on our deepest sympathy and condolences to Brian, Sharon, Curtis and the rest of the family circle at this extremely sad time. And also to his girlfriend Vicky who he loved. Rip Daniel.”

A fellow bowler hailed Daniel as “a real gem both on and off the green or mat” and said he “brightened” the lives of many people.

It’s believed Daniel worked with his dad as a painter and decorator and was also a passionate supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

“It’s going to be really tough on all of them, but especially his dad,” Thomas said.

“They are all just shattered and trying so hard to be strong.

“His girlfriend Vicky has been left devastated too.”

Tributes have also been paid by everyone at Grace Neills & the Groomsport Inn who has been left devastated by Daniel’s death.

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