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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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rfretwell added 17:17 - Nov 19
The days before health & safety really took centre stage in the workplace. Such a shame fir Colin. I always remember the excitement of the final push to the top of div 2 under McGarry - largely courtesy of the astute signing of zjohm Orourke at centre forward. Hopefully we can bring in a similar striker in January.

Cakeman added 17:28 - Nov 19
Indeed a sad story and highlights the problems that many have suffered over the years with Asbestos in the workplace, particularly in the 70’s and 80’s.
Colin Harper was a very solid player, never let the team down and just did a good job. We could do with a full back like him today.

Dissboyitfc added 18:43 - Nov 19
Remember Colin Harper a no thrills dependable defender.

Recently had a survey on the buildings at work and i can tell you this, asbestos was used in many things, artex, the old floor tiles that were used in kitchens, any thing that was made from Bakelite, toys electrical fittings and toilet cisterns all could have probably contained asbestos. Bloody stuff got everywhere!

wayway added 20:45 - Nov 19
Great full back and an excellent crosser of the ball. He would be left back in my all time Town XI. Played in that great Bill McGarry team that won promotion in 1968
R.I.P Colin

ArnieM added 21:30 - Nov 19
R.I.P. Thoughts are with his family at this sad time .

TimmyH added 23:21 - Nov 19
Sounds similar to Mr Steve McQueen all those years ago...he died from mesothelioma from his time in the Navy, movies sound insulation as well drivers suits.

RIP Colin...been a sad year for the old guard :(

MJR101 added 09:14 - Nov 20
Built my garage in 1991. Lovely blok. Sad loss.

ibisblue added 14:49 - Nov 20
Sad - well especially sad to hear that... something entirely preventable. ne of the first Ipswich names remember... RIP

bobble added 11:11 - Nov 21
without unions this would continue...

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