Harper Died From Asbestos-Related Disease
Monday, 19th Nov 2018 16:12
Former Blues left-back Colin Harper died from an asbestos-related disease an inquest in Ipswich heard earlier today. Harper died aged 71 in March from mesothelioma.
The inquest heard that Harper cut asbestos with a circular saw when working as an apprentice joiner and carpenter prior to his career as a footballer, not having been warned about the dangers of the substance or given a mask to wear.
Recording a conclusion of death through industrial disease, assistant Suffolk coroner Dr Dan Sharpstone said cutting asbestos "generated a lot of dust” and it was "impossible to avoid”.
Harper had also worked as self-employed builder after his retirement from football, but was not exposed to asbestos during that period. He died at St Elizabeth Hospice on March 29th having undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Ipswich-born Harper came through the Blues youth system and made 171 Town starts and five sub appearances, scoring six goals, between 1966 and 1977.
He was a member of Bill McGarry’s side which won the Second Division title in 1967/68 and was a regular for Bobby Robson’s team which played in Europe on a yearly basis in the 1970s, most notably featuring in the 1-0 aggregate victory over Real Madrid in 1973.
In 1975 he was granted a testimonial in which a Blues side faced then England boss Don Revie's All-Stars at Portman Road.
Prior to leaving Town he had spells on loan at Grimsby and Cambridge before joining Port Vale where he was caretaker-manager.
He later managed Waterford, Chelmsford and Sudbury Town and regularly attended games at Portman Road.
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