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Daniel Smith
Tribute Page

(Danny was one of King's captains)

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Scroll all the way down for another photo of Danny.

    Daniel "Rump" Smith, a first team All-Public WR for Martin Luther King High in the
2003 season, and a freshman player at Millersville University, passed on Dec. 27, 2004.
     He is survived by his parents, Irving and Shirley (stepmother), sister and brother, Keli
and Maceo, and his mother, Denise, along with numerous other family members and loving
     Services were Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 230 W. Coulter
Street, in Germantown.
     We welcome your comments about Daniel, and they'll be posted below.

     Please e-mail them to silaryt@phillynews.com.
     Also, we will gladly post other pictures. Those may also be sent to the same e-mail
     Thank you very much.

Contributions . . .

  i played against him my junior year. he was a really good player. its upsetting to find out about the bad news. i wish all the best to his family and friends.
-- joeyd # 34 lincoln

I had the chance to know Danny as a friend for nine years and as a teammate for two years. in those two years, I had the privilege to throw Danny the ball. He was one of my best friends. All of my prayers go out to his family at this rough time in their lives. Danny you know I got love for you and I will always think of you.
-- Jeff Campbell

I first met Danny Smith during the 2001 season. He was a sophomore on our junior varsity team at the time. I would watch them practice and say wow, who is that little guy down there catching everything? It was Danny. I told coach Wood he's moving up with varsity A.S.A.P. He played very little on the varsity that year. His future was very bright. He was very disciplined, focused academically, and came from a good family. It's a shame to lose anyone especially just when they are getting started in life. My condolences go out to his entire family.
May god bless you all.
Coach Damond "Smash" Warren
Bartram HS
(Martin Luther King 2000 & 2001 seasons)

“Rump” was a special football player in my eyes. Throughout my years at M.L. King I had the opportunity to watch him mature into an all around young man. He exhibited great skills not only on the football field but also in the classroom. I remember the first day Rump got moved up to varsity and Coach Warren wanted to test him out and see if he was the real deal. HE WAS!  My condolence go out to the entire Smith family.
Brandon Truesdale
Shippensburg University
M.L. King  #65 2002 Captain

   Danny was my little brother and I loved him to death. I really can't believe it happened and I would like to thank all the people who are showing respect for Danny since his passing. Me personally, I still cant believe he's gone but I have to stay strong and I want all his friends to do the same. I know a lot of people might remember him for football but I remember him always smiling and being happy. Ted, I would like to thank you for creating this page and to let you know the family really appreciates you for it. Danny I love you and you will always be in my heart and no matter what you'll always end up on top.

Your Brother Mace
Never 4Gotten & Always Loved

   Danny lived in my West Oak Lane neighborhood and over the past 3 years or so I got to know him. He was a good guy and looked out for me as I was coming up, we played basketball together sometimes at Simons Rec. and all I can remember about Rump is him always smiling and cracking jokes. He will be missed and I send my prayers to his family (blood and Oak Lane family).
-- Zahir Carrington

  If Danny were here right now I would just give him a hug and
tell him that I was proud of him and that everything will be
OK...But since that is not possible, I will hold him in my
heart and remember those times that were good.  Danny was a
great kid to have on the MLK football team.  As his academic
coach, I could always rely on Danny to consistently have good
grades, and I absolutely enjoyed watching him on the field.  
I will remember all those times he made a touchdown and we
raised our hands in victory.  I will remember his
playfulness and the spirit he bought to the team.  I can't
believe this has happened...It was less than a year ago that
I was happy to present Danny with a plaque from the National
Football Foundation for being selected to go into the NFF
Hall of Fame as a scholar-athlete.  I had the pleasure of
knowing Danny for over three years and my heart weeps at his
loss.  I will miss him dearly.  Rest easy my brother.
To all my other Cougars...Hold On! Believe in yourselves and

love yourselves.  I've got your back!
"Coach Scott"
Latisha Forster Scott

My condolences to the family.  I coached Irving Smith.  Coach Ferber, King head coach from 1976 to 1992.
Robert Ferber

I didn't know Danny Smith but at George Washington we send our condolences
out to Danny's family, friends and teammates.  This is a big loss to the
public league.  he seemed like a cool kid and I looked up his stats and he
is a very good football player who would have done well in college.
-- G.W. Dom Curry #19 and the rest of the team

I played against Danny from my soph. to my junior year, and each year we had to watch out for Danny because he was a big factor in King's play book. Danny was a very good competitor and always showed good sportsmanship no matter what the outcome of the game was. He was one of the Wide receivers in the pub that was a big threat if left alone wide open, and in one on one coverage because if not covered or covered right he was going to do amazing things. It's sad to hear that a Philadelphia Public league representer has passed. My condolences and the whole Mastbaum Football Team condolences goes out to Danny's family, friends, and the whole M.L. King football team.
  --Perrell  Jones #48 Mastbaum

I never had a chance to play with Rump but I've seen him play and he was great. He was also a good guy I know from around the way. my love goes out to his family from . . .
Microwave # 1
from Roxborough H

I met Danny in the fourth grade, that's when our friendship was built, way back in Pennypacker Elementary.  Danny was a long time friend from around the way.  Since we were younger everybody knew Danny was a problem on the field.  Since then, it has followed him into high school, and got him into college at Millersville.  Rump did his thing at King! So much that it's got him known all across the city of Philly.   I only had one chance to play against him during our high school years, but I loved every moment of it.  Danny I love you, I want to send my love and caring support to the Smith family and wish them the best.  DANNY "RUMP" U WILL BE MISSED.
Charles "Chuck" Russell
Cheyney University
#24 Roxborough H.S.  (2003-2004)

The Ben Franklin Football Team just learned of this sad tragedy and we all are deeply saddened and send our condolences to the family, friends and teammates of Daniel Smith. One thing remained consistent when speaking of Daniel, the Ben Franklin Football Team remembers Daniel as being a tremendous football player and athlete.
-The Ben Franklin Football Team

I knew Danny since we were about six. We played together at Ivy Hill Saints Football. I played against him in my junior year in a quaterfinals game against King.  It's sad that he passed away at a young age. He will be missed.
My regards to His Family.
Rashid 'Roc' Collins
Central Lancers #56

I played football with Danny for 2 years at King and he is the person who I really felt I was the closest to. We worked out together almost everyday over the past year and became close. He honestly was a great football player and worked hard to improve. He also helped me improve my game a lot. A great friend and cool guy to be around. I send my condolences to Maceo and the rest of his family and friends. I miss you Rump.
Na'im Mincy

"Dirty" was not just a teammate to me he was a little brother i always wanted.  I know i wont see you again for a long time but you will always be in my heart on and off the field.  Dont worry about me i promise i am still going to make just like you were going to.  Its not to much more i can say but I love you and i will always miss you holla. 
From Your Big Brother On The Field
Kenneth "DIRT" Barnes

This is Danny cousin "Chip" from Illinois. I used to visit Danny and his family whenever I came to Philly.  I never really got a chance to kick it with him when he got older, or mace, or kelly.  His father recently came out to Chicago, and talked big things about Danny.  I was looking forward to seeing him, cause its been atleast 10 yrs.  But to Danny, man I miss you, I look at your picture and I remember your smile.  I will keep that in my heart.  I love you cuz, and I will definately spread ur spirit to my people in Illinois.
"Chip" Goins

As a staff of Gaige Hall at Millersville University, we would like to send our deepest heart filled condolences to the family and friends of Daniel Smith. It is truly a tragedy to loose someone with such a promising future and Danny will be missed for his smile and energy he showed throughout the dorm. May God’s richest blessings fall upon and keep the entire Smith family and friends.
-- Gaige Hall Staff

My name is Tiffany McFadden, and I am a friend of Keli, Danny's sister, from high school.  I wasn't in Danny's presence often, but knew him enough to appreciate all of the wonderful things he brought to his family and all of those around him.  I am grateful for the life that Danny lived, and the manner in which he touched every person he came in contact with.  He is loved and greatly missed.  We never really think about the impact that we make in the lives of those around us, and Danny is a supreme example of the great things one person can do in a short lifetime.

This is Larry Turner and Taurean Filmore from Millersville University and former pub players. We send our deepest condolences to the family of Danny.We had the honor to become very close to Danny during his stint through college. We always were there to help him out and look out for him like a little brother. We will always miss you but dont worry because "we got it!" We love you.

This is Sammy Tranks #21 from Martin Lither King High School. I can honestly say that Rumph was the "BEST" player that I have ever played against. I met Danny in the 7th grade. Playing football with Danny in high school i learned how great a person he was on and off the field. Sometimes I felt as though he was my older brother, because he was always showing me how to do things. From fixing things, to playing football , to how to dress. I sort of patterned myself after him. I send my condolences to the Smith family (my second home). I want ya'll to know that I am there for ya'll no matter what happens.
I love you bull, i miss you, and I know you're watching me.
Sammy "Prime Time" Tranks
#21 M.L.K.H.S. 4 life.

   Its hard for me to express in words about how I feel about danny not
being around no longer. Our semester just started yesterday and its
hard not seeing Danny hanging around the lobby. I still have these
vivid memories about how you always screamed west oak lane. We all
called him "Dan da Man" because of how smooth he was. When we talked
about football he always talked about how he shut Akil Stokes down when
they played G-town. We would ask him didn't he score touchdown on you
and made you fall at the sametime and he always would say that was the
only catch he had. Since we returned back to school every conversation
that we bring up we always end up talking about how danny would respond
to the conversation. When we take the field next year we all going to
play with Dan in our hearts.
Maurice Kelley
Millersville University former Bartram Player

I met in the summer at millersville the first week of school after we
met we did just about everything together up there. we use to sit and
play madden and grand theft auto for hours and he would always would
talk about the the cowboys cause most people at school was eagles fans
school just not gone to be the same now without dan. not hearing his
music blasting down the hall not playing the game wit no more
everything. R.I.P DAN DA MAN my heart goes out to his family GONE BUT
-Gregory ''HAMM'' Phillips

I met Danny three years ago and since then I have grown to understand him in a unique and special way. Our friendship grew over the years and I feel blessed to have had in my life although he was so sadly taken away. While most remember Danny for his spirit of football and sports as a whole, I will remeber my friend as someone who always kept a smile and quoted to be "high off of life". He never seemed to let things get to him and always brigthened my day when I was down (always reminding me of track 4 on Jadakiss' album). It's hard to be strong and hold back tears while writing this tribute when it seemed like just yeasterday I was opening my door to "what's up shortie" and greeted with a smile. However, God allows people to be taken away for a reason and the death of Danny was not in vain. To his family, I send my condolenses and remind you that God puts nothing on us that we can not endure. To his friends, I know these few weeks seem to be the hardest when you don't have Danny by your side to play ball with at Simons or seeing him show up in that knew LRG Apparel, but just take Danny with you through your steps in life and know that he is still in the midst. And to Danny, thank you for sharing the times we spent together, because of the memories you will always be in my heart. I know what I meant to you and you know what you meant to me, forget all that other stuff. We will eventually meet again, but until then ima keep rockin' that cougar shirt for you and keep my distance from those "lames" (as you would put it).
Your Loving Friend

I met Danny three years ago through my best friend and although he spoke little , there was always something special about his presence. All I can remember is him saying is "How you doing and what's up with my yung bull." If he wasn't always talking about life at King High School, he was talking about how "tough" him and his squad was and how much they could dress. He was a funny character even when just looking at him because you never knew what he was thinking and he always kept a smile. That was what made him such a unique person.
Danny we will truly miss you and your life will never be forgotten.

This is one of Danny's other cousins, Kara. I had been thinking about what to
write, but Chip seemed to sum it up perfectly for the most part. Though I only
saw him a few times, I always felt especially close to him because we're the
only two in the family that were the same age. I know my mom felt like Danny
was someone really special. We all did. Every time I think about him, I'm so
sorry that we couldn't have been closer because from what I can tell he was an
incredible person. Thanks to everyone else that saw that, too, it means so
-Kara Berry

Rump you left us early but you always will be with us. No matter what you told us to keep our heads high and we gone make it. You gone but not forgotten.
Empire&Bad Company

To all that have written & that will write, Danny "RUMP" was a very special
young man & if you didn't know him you would not have knew that. He always had a
smile & something good to say.  One thing that makes me PROUD of him is that
since his passing all that has been said about him has been GOOD.  Football
was his love & he was an awesome player, no matter what position he was told to
play he played it & played it well.  I had the opportunity to watch him grow
into that awesome player from youth football to college, I went to every game
that he played in. He didn't boost about his game he just went out & did his
very best, but he knew that he had a lot of talent.   School work was a little
different but he was successful in that as well.  It was a PLEASURE to have
Danny as a son and friend.  I hope & pray that all that knew him will learn
something from all of this.  I know that he would want all of you to be STRONG, keep
your heads up & do the right things no matter what those things  are.  Reach
for the sun & you will get to the top of the mountain, stay strong, stay
positive & pray. DANNY LOVED YOU ALL.  Thanks for all of the messages.

Danny's Dad,


I first became close with Dan when we both decided to go to Millersville. Dan and I were both in division C and King and Mastbaum always was a hard fought battle. We played in the all-city game senior year together and I will always remember him for that certain smile and swagger he had. I know Millersville had big hopes for Dan and that he was growing in popularity. Seeing him around campus at Millersville would always provide a laugh. Whether it was laughing about how we put King out the playoffs 2 years in a row or playing basketball at night Danny was always fun to be with. His family and friends have lost a truly special person. This is such a shock.
M. BRIGHTER #80 Mastbaum

I still can't believe Danny is gone, every time I look at his picture or go back to the hood. I just shake my head, its hurt so much that we all have to live the rest of our lives not understanding or knowing why Danny is not with us. I can remember me now saying how Danny was the deal in football, he was defiantly going to the league to represent. To everybody who knew Danny, I know its hard to stay strong but we have too just remember Danny is watching over us. Danny 4 EVER LOVED & NEVER FORGOTTEN.

I am Daniel's mother, Denise Smith.  I live in Harrisburg, Pa and have not had the opportunity to meet everyone in Daniel's life.
I wanted to express my gratitude to all of you for your expressions of love, kindness, and prayers during this very difficult time in our lives.  I feel so blessed that Daniel was as special to you as he was to me.  God blessed us for 18 years with Daniel's love.  Our family will cherish your thoughts and comments always.
My Dear Heart is gone but please make the choice to live a good and positive life in Daniel's memory.  Strive to do your best and let no one keep you from reaching your dreams.
Peace, Love, and God's Grace……..
Denise L. Smith
Harrisburg, PA

   This is Brandon Connelly #22from Martin Luther King High School. When I first met Danny it was 6th grade.We attended Leeds Middle School. Danny and I would always play basketball in the morning before school started. When Danny was in and 8th grade he work at a barber shop call Bob's Hair Gallery. One day in school he walk up to me and ask did I want to work with him. I said sure why not. He ask me want days can I work said everyday of the week. He look at me like I just saw a ghost. The first thing he told  me was you can' t work on Friday and Saturday, I said way not, he said thats money day. He would always try to get over on you no matter what the situation was (smile). I remember every time me and him got some money we would always go to South Street. I can truthfully say that Danny was the best football player I have ever seen.He was a good guy do be around. He would always make me laugh and plus myself to be the best basketball player I can be. I have so many memories I can talk about. Danny  all I want you to know  is I Love you with all my heart. R.I.P Danny Rump Smith King 4 Life.

This is Danny's sister and I wanted to thank everybody that has written and/or spoke of my brother with so much love and admiration. Thank you to those who have supported my family and I. Danny was my heart and I still cannot believe that he is not here with us. I had the chance to see him play many times and yes he was a good player. But, that's not how I knew him- as a good player. He was truly a carefree, sincere, honest, and admirable guy. He would always call me for help with his schoolwork or to ask what he should wear. I loved him and everybody knew that. I will forever miss Rump as I know all of you will. However, know that Danny would want us all to remember him for the times he put smiles on our faces and be strong! I LOVE YOU RUMP BUT I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN!-Keli

Danny you will always be missed. You were apart of a family in the Philadelphia Public League. You were part of a tradition in the best Thanksgiving Games to ever be scheduled. I only got to play against you twice. I played on the same team as you once. It was a great challenge for me to play against in the Thanksgiving game. I respect you as a person and as an athlete. The Pub all-star game was the greatest time. You will be missed.
#11 Dustin Hardy-Moore (G-Town High 2003-2004)

Rump this is Jay-Roc I love you my life is your life, my future is
yours I will make it for the both of us just stay with me at all times
Mace & Keli you have a brother in Me
Smitty you have a son in me
D-nice gone but will never lost
Love& Respect

My name is Lisa Morgan.  I am a friend of Danny's mother, Denise Smith.  I
first met Denise when I came to work with her at PGW.  She was pregnant with
Danny back then.  Throughout the years that I have worked with Denise, I've
seen Danny (and Keli) many times when they were very young.  I've seen
pictures, shared a few birthdays and holidays here and there.  Even though
Denise left the company, she always emailed us photos of him (and Keli) and
kept us all up to date on his life.  She was sooo proud of him!   She was
proud of both of her kids.  Those of us here at PGW who knew Danny loved him
as if he were our family too.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Denise,
Smitty, Keli and the rest of the family.  Young people remember what the
Pastor said, "Get out of the Matrix!"  I'm sure Danny would want that.
Always remember that you have a friend in Jesus.  He may not come when you

want him, but he is always RIGHT ON TIME!

Danny was someone I knew since I was young.Him my brother Jason and his older brother Maceo all use to hang out when we first moved to the West Oaklane area.Even thought as we got older we grew apart he was still good guy and he will be missed.There cant recalled a time when Danny wasnt cracking jokes and making people laugh.He will be missed  by all who knew him in our community. I'll keep his family in my prayers.
William Logan Franklin Learning Center

I would like send BLESSINGS to the family of Danny Smith. I have had the
pleasure of knowing Danny through his mother, Denise, who is and has been my
best friend for about 12 years. I have watch Danny and Keli grow up to be
very respectful & responsible young adults. As I am typing this, I can see
Danny's sweet and innocent smile. I can also see the smile on his mother's
face when I open my front door for her as she tells me that Danny has a game
this week and she'll be spending the night at my house to go to the game in
the morning. I attended the church service at Enon and I hope ALL the young
people (and some older people) received the message that Rev. Waller
preached. Danny did not leave us in vain. I truly believe that all that
has happened has a purpose. It's GOD's purpose. The many, many young
people that was in attendance at the Church service is evidence that Danny
leaving us had a purpose that may be hard for non-believers to grasp.
God Bless the family and friends of Danny Smith.

Cynthia O. Parker

I met Danny my ninth grade year at  king.
He was always smiling seemed so full of life
like he didn't have a worry in the world.
Class was always fun when he was there.
I still can believe that he's gone.
I miss him so much.
I wish it all was just a bad dream.
this is Ciara Moore,a former classmate and forever friend

I have known Danny for a long time. We grew up together on the 7500 of Gilbert and to hear of his passing was a shock to me. I remember Danny as always smiling and asking everyone on the block did they want to  play chase back in the day.My sympathy goes out to his family,Keli and Maceo.
Gone But Not 4Gotten
Chantel Wooden

I met Danny in the ninth grade we were on a football trip with Coach Scott. I was the youngest player there and Rumph was the first one to open up and extend his friendship to me. Until this day i still remember the nickname he gave me "Little Ugly". I always will remeber Danny as a person who loved his friends and family with all of his heart. You are still our captian RIP #4
Love & Respect

I knew Daniel Smith for alot of years we grew up to togther we   close freinds
I still don't belive he is gone I  think about him everyday. He was great
player he work hard to be the best. He was always focus and look out for me
all the time.
R.I.P. Danny
Til We met again I'm gone to miss U.
          From Elliot
May God Bless The Smith's Family

If you knew Danny, you would know that he was a someone who kept it "Real" Danny's death came as a shock to me because whenever you saw Danny he always had a smile on his face or was he was having fun. The one thing I'm going to remember about him was when he played at the All Pub Game. My prayers go out to the Smith Family,Millersville University, and King H.S

I only decided to write something because it feels as if it is the only
way to ease the heartache I feel within. I know it's been almost a half
of year since your passing, but I still cannot accept the fact that
you're gone . . . The only person that can ever fully understand is GOD, so I
pray that these people in the streets would stop thinking they have the
answer. I just wanted to remind you that I still miss you and there's
not a day that goes where I'm not thinking about you. Everything seems
to remind me of you and it's crazy. But I'm sure you know what's going
on (no need to update you) because you're with me and all your other
loved ones everyday we walk through this life. The only thing that
honestly puts a smile on my face is that I know that I am going to see
you again and all the old times we had together are going to be new

Rump I have known you since I was in second grade. We went to every school together, we also played three years on the field. Rump I'm going to miss you, but you will also be like a little brother to me that's for sure. Love you man I will be think of you. My condolence goes out to the whole smith family and to the whole uptown.
Louis Simmons
Penn College
M. L. King #30 2002

I knew Rump for two years he was on the varsity team while I was on junior Varsity team, When Varsity whould Scrimmige junior varsity he was there to always see if football was everything to me he gave me everthing he had. Trust me it was a shame to see him go.
--Mark McBride
TE-DE#89 Varisty- Martin Luther King
Love to all the family and friends

i never played against Rump but watching him was a delightful experence. danny is a person that will be missed by all from Christopher Hines G- Town High Class of 2005 # 6

This is Jasmine and I am very glad to say that I had the chance to meet Danny as a friend and football player. I was one of his football managers or "watergirls" as the team called us. I always saw Danny with a smile or joking with his friends in school. I just wanted to let Danny know that me and the rest of his friends miss him very much and I'm pretty sure he knows he's always in our hearts every day of the week. It's been just about a year and I still can't believe that he's gone. I miss you Danny, see you again later.
Jasmine D.
MLK 2004

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Danny (center), with some of his King teammates. Photo courtesy of Latisha Forster Scott.