She loved life – and loved hockey. Daisy Strange was a star on the pitch when turning out for Chichester, East Grinstead or Trojans – and very popular off it.
Her enthusiasm and talent led her to become head of girls’ sport in the prep school at Seaford College near Petworth, where she later worked, writes Steve Bone of the Chichester Observer.
Now the ladies of Chichester Hockey Club who could call Daisy a friend and teammate are paying tribute to her after her death at the age of 25, less than a year after she was diagonsed with a rare form of tongue cancer.
The team have been wearing commemorative shirt sporting the logo of St Wilfrid’s Hospice, who cared for her and her family, who live in Birdham in her final days. The shirts also have an image of a daisy on the sleeve.
Chichester will playing a memorial match in due course – but with times as they are, they wanted to do something to remember Daisy now.
Sally Bradley, manager and player with the Chi ladies’ first team said: “It was such pride that I put on my green shirt, not because it was green, or that it was new – for me it had far more significance.
“It had a daisy on its sleeve and the ‘supporting St Wilfrid’s Hospice’ logo clearly displayed on it – in memory of Daisy Strange.
“With Daisy’s mum Diana, I ran a development side at Chichester Hockey Club some years ago. We had a group of 11 to 14-year-old girls who were all desperately keen to play hockey.
“It was clear, however, that there was one young girl in the team who, even at that early age, was heading for great things from her hockey.
“Daisy was fiercely competitive and that, along with her bubbly personality, encouraged Daisy to push herself further, and everyone recognised that she would do well.
“Daisy left Chichester after progressing from the Canons to the ladies’ firsts and everyone watched with interest as her hockey career developed.
“Last summer Daisy was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer which she fought with the same determination and dignity that she showed for everything.
“However on April 11, during lockdown, sadly Daisy died.
“We had planned to have a memorial game, but lockdown stopped this, so these shirts are a constant reminder of Daisy.
“Some of the girls in that original Canons team are still playing with me now, however Daisy’s infectious personality touched so many other players within the club over the years.
“The majority of the girls in Chichester Ladies’ first XI are a similar age to Daisy and we were all so very proud to wear the shirts knowing that it commemorates a girl, just like us all, who loved life and loved hockey.”
As well as Daisy’s mum having been involved with the Chichester club, her father Adrian and brother Jack still play for them.
Sally, inspired by Daisy’s story, has now started fundraising for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
You can donate to my JustGiving page by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chichester-hockey-club
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