Tragedy of Grimsby Town steward who died trying to remove wasp nest

Coroner rules the fall by a Grimsby Town FC safety steward who was trying to clear a wasps’ nest was a tragic accident

A Grimsby Town FC chief steward died after being stung by a wasp and falling from a ladder as he tried to get rid of a nest.

Mike Gibson, 66, was allergic to wasps, an inquest into his death was told.

Mike had told his wife he was going to remove the nest from the roof of their home in Robinson Lane, Louth, on November 2.

But after he had climbed the ladder in the rain, Mr Gibson, who had been drinking and was wearing slippers, was stung and plunged to the ground.

When his wife found him she performed CPR while emergency services rushed to the scene.

PC Claire Blakey told the coroner an ambulance and air ambulance were also called to the scene.

She said: “The ladder was positioned near the gate. Mr Gibson had slippers on and it was raining lightly. His wife gave him CPR. She told me he was going to remove a wasp nest and she was concerned by this as he had an allergy to wasps.”

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The inquest heard Mr Gibson’s blood alcohol level was 121mg of ethanol per 100ml of blood in his system, the legal drink drive limit is 80mg.

A post mortem examination concluded Mr Gibson died from anaphylactic shock caused by the wasp sting and a spinal fracture. Mike was a highly-regarded steward at Blundell Park for many years.

He was also well known for directing popular plays as part of the Louth Playgoers.

He had just retired as site manager at Eastfield Infants School where he had worked for more than 28 years. He also volunteered at Louth’s Interskill social enterprise which looks after adults with learning disabilities.

Coroner Paul Smith said: “He had an allergy to wasps. He carried an epi-pen. He was last seen around midday in Louth town centre. His wife Janine Sutton returned home and the house was open. She rang her husband’s phone and that led her to him. He had a head injury and she attempted CPR but despite efforts he was pronounced dead.

“It is reasonable to assume he went up the ladder to look for the nest, was stung and lost his balance and fell from the ladder. His balance may not have been assisted by wearing slippers.”

Mr Smith concluded Mr Gibson’s death was a tragic accident.

Following the tragedy family and friends paid heartfelt tributes to Mr Gibson.

Stepdaughter Emma Sutton said: “He was a wonderful man and was amazing with me and my brothers and a brilliant granddad figure to my children.

“He will definitely be missed a lot.”

Stadium manager of Grimsby Town FC, Nick Dale said: “There is massive sadness among all the stewards. The club has lost a dear friend. He was loved by everybody.”

Nick added: “Mike was a duty manager in charge of customer care. He made sure all the stewards and visitors to the stadium were safe and dealt with any complaints.

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