The former maintenance engineer from Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan was 80 when he died just four months after being diagnosed with the cancer of the lining of the lung.

The disease has no cure and is caused by exposure to asbestos. It often does not develop until decades after exposure.

The granddad-of-five was exposed to asbestos after removing asbestos lagging from pipework, pumps and other machinery while working for The Steel Company of Wales, now known as Corus UK Limited.

He worked with the company for 24 years in the Margam and Abbey Power Plants in Port Talbot after moving to Wales from Paisley, Scotland.

Previously he had spent nine years working on a whaling fleet in the Antarctic.

He was a hard working, healthy man before the mesothelioma diagnosis

He had a son and a daughter who said their dad had always been a hard working, healthy man.

His son, aged 64, said: “He was a healthy man. He probably would have lived until he was 90. He was hard working and hardy. You had to be to work in the Antarctic for all those years.

“He had mentioned he worked with asbestos but we never thought he would be diagnosed with mesothelioma. It is an awful disease. The way he was at the end was terrible. He was in a lot of pain and it was horrible to watch.

“He felt angry when he found out he had mesothelioma. He felt more should have been done to protect workers.”

He added that they did not know they could claim for compensation on their dad’s behalf following his death but were advised by the coroner to do so.

The family were recommended to Thompsons Solicitors by a friend.

Thompsons Solicitors were extremely helpful and very compassionate

He said his dad would be pleased they had fought his case.

He said: “He had to fight for his job and life was hard for him. I think he would be pleased to see this money go to his grandchildren. It gives them a start in life.”

He added: “The staff at Thompsons Solicitors were extremely helpful and very compassionate.”

Eamonn McDonough, the family’s client representative based in Thompsons' Cardiff office, said: “This client was exposed to large quantities of asbestos while working for Corus. Sadly he died very quickly following his diagnosis of mesothelioma and was not aware he could claim for compensation during his lifetime.

“We are pleased to have recovered damages on behalf of his family who have lost a dad, granddad and great granddad.”