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Widow of former miner appeals for information following asbestos-related death

The widow of a miner is appealing for former colleagues to come forward with information following her husband’s asbestos-related death.

Posted on 17 June 2024

Keith Needham worked at Rossington Colliery in Doncaster from 1961 to 1974 and Maltby Colliery in Rotherham from 1974 to 1983/84. He lived in Doncaster all his life and had children and grandchildren in the area. 


Keith Needham
Image of Keith Needham


Keith’s widow, Lynne believes that he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres during his time working at the two collieries which led to him developing mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer. She is appealing for other people who worked at the mines to come forward and help her with her legal claim.  

Keith started at Rossington Colliery at the age of 15. He worked as a diesel locomotive driver on the surface, before becoming a coal washer. He then moved to work underground initially as a haulage hand, and then as a coal face worker.  

He walked through a tunnel between the pit head baths, lamp room and lift shaft along which hot water pipes ran. These pipes were covered in lagging he believed to be asbestos. This lagging was disturbed by the railway wagons running above and by men as they walked through at the start and end of their shifts so that asbestos dust and fibres were released into the air where the deceased was so that he breathed it in.   

At Maltby Colliery, Keith also worked underground as a miner and as a locomotive driver. He walked through a gantry between the lamp room and main shaft area which he believed to be constructed from asbestos materials. Again, as men walked along this tunnel multiple times a day the asbestos materials were disturbed releasing asbestos dust and fibres into the atmosphere which the deceased breathed in.  

Keith was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2021, and he died just five months later when he was aged 83. 

Lynne Needham said:  

“Keith was a very loving husband, dad and grandad, and it was terrible to see this dreadful disease take him away from us in such a cruel way.  He was known by a few nicknames, Shultz, Red and Red Setter. I will be deeply grateful for any information from former colliery employees, which may assist with my legal claim.” 

Leigh Day solicitor Louisa Saville, who represents Lynne Needham in her legal claim said: 

“Mr Needham worked all his life for the National Coal Board at Rossington and Maltby collieries, like thousands of other men in the local area. During his employment, he came into contact with asbestos which caused his death leaving behind his wife and family, including a teenage grandson who lived with him.  

“We’re appealing for anyone who knew Keith at Rossington but particularly at Malby colliery who may be able to provide more information about the conditions and how Keith was exposed to asbestos.” 

If you can provide information that may help Lynne Needham with her claim, please contact Louisa Saville at Lsaville@leighday.co.uk or call 0161 804 0761. 

Louisa Saville
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Louisa Saville

Louisa Saville is a partner in the asbestos team.

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