Sheffield widow seeks answers over asbestos death

Roger Headley with his wife Jackie
Roger Headley with his wife Jackie
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Relatives of a Sheffield man who died from an asbestos-related disease want to hear from former colleagues to help them establish where he came into contact with the deadly substance.

Roger Headley, aged 65, of Beaver Hill Road, Handsworth, worked as a mechanic at several firms - City Road Garage on City Road, Hillsborough Garage and Motor Co Ltd in Hillsborough, Kennings on Canklow Road, Rotherham, and Ambrose Shardlow, later known as GKN Shardlow Ltd and now Bifranji UK Ltd, on Grange Mill Lane, Meadowhall.

The father-of-four, who had five grandchildren, died in December 2010 after losing his battle with the asbestos-related terminal cancer mesothelioma.

His widow Jackie said: “Roger was a true Sheffielder – a real working man who wanted to support his family.

“Losing him at Christmas was exceptionally hard and the holidays will always be a reminder of our loss.

“He suffered a great deal due to his illness before he eventually passed away, and it was heartbreaking to watch him suffer.

“His breathing deteriorated and he quickly became less active and mobile.

“Nothing can bring him back but we hope as many of his ex-workmates as possible will help us find out more information about how he was exposed to asbestos and if anything more could potentially have been done to protect him from the dangerous dust.

“We just want to get to the bottom of where he was exposed to asbestos. If anyone remembers working with him, I urge them to come forward and help us.”

Martyn Hayward, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Sheffield-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Roger and their families.

“Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“We hope Roger’s former co-workers from Hillsborough Garage, Kennings and Ambrose Shardlow will come forward to help answer the many questions his family has about his exposure to asbestos as well as what measures, if any, were in place to protect employees like him.

“It’s important we now help his family get answers so they can honour his memory and get the justice they deserve.”

n Anyone who used to work with Roger who could help provide details of his working conditions and contact with asbestos should call Martyn Hayward at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4420 or email