Tributes paid to Sandwell teenager who 'wanted to make a difference' by joining police force

Tributes have been paid to a kind-hearted and caring teenager from Sandwell who "wanted to make a difference" by joining the police force.

Daniel with mum Lisa (left) and in his uniform at Ormiston Forge Academy (right).
Daniel with mum Lisa (left) and in his uniform at Ormiston Forge Academy (right).

Daniel Morgan had always dreamed of being a police officer and was in the process of applying to join West Midlands Police when he died.

The kind and confident 19-year-old, a student at Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath, had a severe brain haemorrhage on January 30.

Daniel Morgan was described as a kind-hearted teenager who 'wanted to make a difference'

Lisa Howard, Daniel's mother, said: "He was somebody that wanted to make a difference and he knew he could do this in the police force.

"Daniel always wanted to be a police officer, even as a kid he would dress up in a police uniform and go to school in it. He was obsessed with the idea of police cars. Officers would wave and put their lights on for him and be so welcoming when he was a child. They also visited his primary school.

"Losing Daniel happened so fast, the paramedics, doctors and nurses all did everything they could but it was already too late. There was no saving Daniel, but Daniel did save others.

"He donated his organs and has since saved five people who we know about. If Dan had still been on this planet he would definitely have made a difference for the good of his community."

The 19-year-old, who was described as kind-hearted, level-headed and wise for his years, had sent his application for an apprenticeship to West Midlands Police before he passed away.

Covid-19 restrictions meant his funeral was delayed which allowed his family time to grieve and come to terms with their loss, and they wanted to wait for restrictions to lift so more people could attend and pay their respects – and give the teenager the send-off he deserved.

Police officers expressed their gratitude at being able to pay their respects and volunteers from the West Midlands Police Honour Guard transported Daniel's ashes on July 2 to the final service in his memory, joined by the teenager's mother and father.

West Midlands Police's Honour Guard proudly transported Daniel's ashes, leading the convoy from his home to his school and the garden of remembrance

The police car paused outside Daniel's school – Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath – for his teachers who lined the street to pay their respects.

And officers flashed on blues for Daniel before heading to Powke Lane Cemetery, in Rowley Regis Crematorium, where his family scattered his ashes in the garden of remembrance at his grandad Ronald Howard’s plot and with his aunt Tracey, who died a few years back after a short illness with cancer.

Sergeant Ben Westwood, head of the West Midlands Police Honour Guard, said: “We were very moved at being able to play a small part of Daniel’s final journey and we are happy to see he did so in style.

"It was an immense privilege to have given Daniel a ride in a police vehicle he very sadly will never get to do himself. Speaking to his mum and aunt, Daniel sounded the very best of men, it is wholly unfortunate that he never got to fulfil his dream. May he rest in peace."

Daniel was chosen out of 100 students in Sandwell to be part of the council's Forward Thinking programme as well as doing work with The Prince's Trust.

And whilst at Sandwell College he took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) – recognising problems in the local area and looking at how the school could help combat these and the stigma around poor families and higher education. He was awarded a certificate from the Prime Minister for his NCS work.

Martial arts school Hickman’s Academy in Cradley created the Daniel Morgan Achievement Award in memory of the teenager, who was a brown belt in kickboxing, to inspire people to excel in their personal ambitions and at sport.

His mother Lisa added: "He never lost his temper and hated it when people argued. If any of his friends got into trouble, he was always in the middle, he always managed to talk people around - he was like a ref.

"He made everyone connected, we all just wanted to be around Dan. He was not only my son, but my best friend."

Daniel is survived by his mum Lisa, twin sister Allanah, stepdad Ben Henus, father Garwyn Morgan and wider family and friends.

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