SOUTHAMPTON Olympic hopeful Peter Waterfield has paid tribute to his diving partner’s dad who has died from brain cancer.

Rob Daley, father to 17-year-old diving sensation Tom, lost his battle against illness on Friday aged just 40.

Peter, who is Tom’s synchro diving partner, said: “He was a really proud dad and really supportive of Tom and of his achievements.

“We all need people behind us, I didn’t get to where I got to – my dad supported me a lot in my career at the beginning.

“He was a bubbly kind of guy, always trying a joke. From what I know of him he was a really funny guy, a good guy to be around.”

Mr Daley, who has always supported his son’s career following him round the world, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2006.

He attended all of Tom's events until last year's Commonwealth Games when he was forced to remain at home after a tumour returned.

However, he was there to watch Pete and Tom claim their first gold medal together in the World Series in Sheffield last month.

Pete added: “He saw Tom become world champion and Commonwealth champion so he saw him achieve some pretty big stuff, so it’s a shame. 2012’s coming up and he’s not going to see that.

“I’m sure he’ll be looking down on Tom and still be right behind him.

“He’ll [Tom] always want to make his dad proud and being in London it will definitely spur him on for it.”