A SOUTHAMPTON man who was "very brave until the end" died from mesothelioma, an inquest heard.

Paul Michael Collins, 59, spent his last days at Countess Mountbatten Hospice. He died on February 20.

His wife, Michelle, said the time between the diagnosis and his passing was "so quick".

She said: "Paul was a famous cricketer – well, in the local area that is, within about a 20 mile radius. Lots of people are very upset to lose him.

"But he was very brave until the end, and he was never full of self pity. He just kept doing what he could."

Winchester Coroner's Court heard how Mr Collins' disease was caused by working with asbestos.

In 1976, he was an 'odd job man' in the Andover area, which often meant he would climb into walls and roofs insulated with asbestos.

Later in his working life, he was a bank clerk for Lloyds.

On one occasion, his branch was refurbished, and when he returned to work the following day, the building was "dusty and dirty".

Assistant coroner Simon Burge concluded the cause of death as industrial disease, mesothelioma.