The best friend of a Kinder Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) volunteer who died suddenly at the weekend has paid tribute to him - describing him as ‘there for everyone else but not for himself’.
Nick Shepherd, 45, told how ‘lovely guy’ Daniel Sells, 38, was in the process of training a search dog for the team - two-year-old golden retriever Maya - ‘who was his life’.
Daniel, of New Mills, who ran his own dog-walking business, joined the team in 2012 - showing a major interest in search dogs.
Fellow KMRT member Nick Shepherd, 45, said Daniel - who had no children and never married - ‘had always been there’.
He said: “Dan was always one to offer support and guidance but when you asked him how he was he just said ‘not bad’.
“He just didn’t invest any time in himself.”
Nick said Daniel - in a ‘typical’ act of generosity - raised more than £8,000 within five days through online fundraising to pay vet bills for Nick’s own search dog’s double cruciate ligament operation.
He said: “I’m really sad - he’s my best friend in the world and I’m going to miss him.
“It will be a while before I get over it, to be sure.”
Dave Eustace, deputy leader of KMRT, said fellow team members were ‘shocked and upset’ by the loss.
He spoke of Daniel’s ‘massive commitment’ through his passion for search and rescue dog training and his hard work maintaining the KMRT’s web and social media pages.
Speaking about Daniel’s special bond with Maya, he said: “Dan absolutely lived through the dog - I think she provided some meaning for him. He was a really lovely guy - a good guy.
“This is a big shock to everybody - we’re just trying to support each other through it.
“Instead of having our normal team training session last night we cancelled it and had a discussion together.”