The son of a cancer victim is urging his former work colleagues to come forward with information about his exposure to asbestos.

Billy Hughes, 81, from Norris Green, Liverpool, died of asbestos related lung cancer in January 2009. The former labourer worked at Liverpool Docks for a number of difference shipping companies from 1957 to 1977.

Billy was known by his work colleagues as ‘the birdman’ or ‘budgie’ due to his hobby breeding budgies. He started off as a deck hand and when he left the docks he was a crane driver.

Billy wanted to claim compensation to care for his disabled wife

Before he died he felt strongly about claiming compensation to care for his disabled wife as he was concerned about providing for her future.

His son, David, said: "A number of my dad’s friends had been affected by asbestos, including my father in law who has pleural plaques. My dad talked to them a lot about his condition and wanted to claim compensation. He was the main carer for my mum and wanted to make sure she was looked after."

The family wish anyone who worked with Billy at any time to come forward to speak to Thompsons. They are interested in any information about the working environment during the time he was working at Liverpool Docks.

10,000 people die every year from asbestos-related disease

Joanne Candlish of Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mr Hughes is one of 10,000 people who die every year from asbestos-related disease. His suffering and his family’s sense of loss must not be allowed to become mere statistics. It is vital that his devastated widow and family find out more information about where he was exposed to asbestos.

“If anyone remembers working with Mr Hughes at Liverpool Docks we would urge them to come forward.”

Anybody with any information should contact Joanne Candlish on 08000 224 224 or email her at