Appeal to trace former colleagues of worker who died from asbestos-related disease

By Jamie Brassington | Oldbury | Health | Published:

An appeal has been made to find the former colleagues of a steel worker who died from an asbestos-related cancer.

Don Purcell, from West Bromwich, worked in the Sandwell borough at numerous factories during his career.

He died in March 2018 aged 71 from mesothelioma - a cancer of the lung lining most commonly associated with asbestos exposure.

His family have made the appeal ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day on July 3.

His wife Diane, 71, has instructed law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate how Mr Purcell became exposed to asbestos and if it could be linked to his work history.

Mr Purcell worked at tube manufacturer Stewarts and Lloyds in Bilport Lane, Wednesbury, from the early 1960s to the 1981 when it closed.

He then retrained as a welder at Wellington Tube Works in West Bromwich, before working at British Industrial Plastics, on Popes Lane, Oldbury, between the mid 1980s and the late 1990s.

Donald Purcell

Diane said: "It was devastating to watch Don become so unwell, especially towards the end when he was unable to do much for himself.


"Coming to terms with losing him has been incredibly difficult, and just coping with daily life is a struggle without him. We used to do everything together.

"While nothing will bring him back to me, I need to honour his memory by finding out what led to him developing such an awful disease. We would be grateful to anyone that may be able to help."

Anyone with information about his working conditions are asked to call Chris Quigley on 01212145457, Alida Coates on 0121 214 5407 or email

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at

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