Tigers Supporter Faces Cancer Fight

Mesothelioma

18.03.2009

A stalwart Hull City fan – whose family have been following the club for nearly a century – has been left unable to watch his beloved Tigers in person after being struck down with cancer.

Alan Clipson, 76, fell ill at Christmas 2007, suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. It means he is too unwell to attend matches and even forced the season ticket holder to miss the biggest day in the club's history when they won the Championship playoff final at Wembley in May 2008.

It is thought that Mr Clipson came into contact with asbestos when he worked as a security officer at the Ideal Standard and Ideal Boilers site on National Avenue between 1979 and 1982.

He has now asked legal experts from Irwin Mitchell to pursue a compensation claim against Ideal Standard.

"It's difficult to describe the feeling when I was told I had malignant mesothelioma except to say I was devastated," said Mr Clipson.

"Because I was so poorly, and sometimes as a result of the treatment I've been getting, I've had to miss quite a few Hull City matches. Obviously the play-off final was the biggest of those – at least I knew my son Robert and his family were there cheering on the lads in my absence.

"My father William started the long line of Clipson Tigers supporters in 1919 and I've had a season pass for the past 11 years, along with my brother and his wife, their two sons and Robert and my two grandchildren Hannah and James. Hopefully I’ll be able to see the boys play in the Premiership soon."

Mr Clipson's solicitor Ian Toft, an industrial disease expert at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital Mr Clipson's former work colleagues came forward to shed more light on how he contracted the disease.

"Given that Mr Clipson never worked directly with asbestos the news that he has contracted mesothelioma has come as a particular shock to him and his family," he said.

"Mr Clipson has gone from enjoying a happy retirement – including spending time playing bowls and watching his beloved Hull City – to facing a battle against cancer. That he missed a historic day at Wembley goes to show how mesothelioma leaves sufferers unable to lead a normal life and do the things they enjoy.

"We need to hear from anyone who worked at the Ideal Standard site around the time of Mr Clipson's employment so we can find out more about the conditions there – and help to offer a more detailed explanation about why this has happened."

Mr Clipson added: "I worked as a printer and type-setter for most of my life so it took me a while to work out where I could have been exposed to asbestos. But then I realised that during my patrols around the Ideal Standard site I would have passed through areas where it would have been used, like on boilers, pipes, kilns and furnaces.

"Workmen would often be carrying out repair work and there would be quite a lot of dust around. We never received any warnings about asbestos and were never given facemasks to protect us."

Anyone with information about the Ideal Standard is asked to call Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell solicitors on 0871 1500 100 or on ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com