A Middlesbrough man, who developed an asbestos-related disease from working in a steel mill 60 years ago, has secured £230,000 in compensation with support from national law firm, Thompsons Solicitors.

The grandfather-of-three has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer of the lungs. He was exposed to asbestos between 1955 and 1956 while working as a labourer in a steelworks on Teesside after finishing school, aged 15.

He was never provided with any protection from asbestos and his employer failed to warn him about its dangers.

Throughout his life the 74-year-old has been fit and healthy, enjoying regular visits to the gym, swimming, golf and gardening. It was while playing golf that he suddenly became breathless and was diagnosed two months later with mesothelioma.

Following his diagnosis, he contacted industrial disease specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, who obtained a detailed history of his exposure to asbestos and made a successful claim against his former employer.

He said: “When my consultant asked me if I’d ever worked with asbestos, I had genuinely forgotten about the period of time I was at the rolling mill all those years ago.

“My father got me a job there as an office boy but I later worked in the mill itself, which is where the asbestos was.

“My wife and family were shocked and distressed when we heard the news. I was particularly angry because I developed mesothelioma through no fault of my own, and after working for a company such a long time ago.

“Thompsons were very supportive throughout the entire process, offering expert legal advice all the way along.”

Gill Connelly of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The terrible legacy of mesothelioma in the UK is set to continue for decades and this case illustrates the lengthy period that can take place between working with asbestos and being diagnosed with a terminal disease.

“Workers should never have been exposed to asbestos without a warning of the dangers from employers and lack of proper protection.

“Working alongside asbestos victim support groups and trade unions, we will continue to hold negligent employers and their insurers to account.”