Prominent West Lothian businessman and anti-vaxxer dies after month-long covid battle
Tributes have been paid to a prominent West Lothian businessman and anti-vaxxer who has died after a month-long battle with Covid-19.
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Alan Steel, 74, died last Wednesday after he was hospitalised with the virus. The finance guru was placed on a ventilator just hours before and had told friends to 'keep their fingers crossed'.
Mr Steel who launched Alan Steel Asset Management in his hometown of Linlithgow in West Lothian in 1975 was highly respected as a ‘crusader’ in the industry, while his firm managed more than £1 billion worth of client assets.
He regularly posted anti-vaccine views on Twitter throughout the pandemic and said he was also against masks and lockdowns.
The Covid-19 sceptic blasted Boris Johnson' s wife Carrie for urging pregnant women to get the jab. Sharing an article about Ms Johnson's advice, he wrote: 'FFS.'
He shared misinformation including a report into vaccine deaths by a conspiracy theorist website, as well as reportedly telling friends to listen to videos on how 'it's not a pandemic of the unvaccinated'.
In a personal message last month he posted: 'You may wonder why I've been so quiet. For the best part of two weeks I fought a losing battle with Covid.
'Been on oxygen in hospital since. Moving to intensive care today. This is one nasty illness. Fingers crossed I make it through.'
It is understood that Mr Steel initially responded well to treatment but his condition later deteriorated.
Steve Forbes, managing director of Alan Steel Asset Management said: 'He was a one-off and a genius, of that there is certainly no doubt, but he was also a great visionary.
'He is now with his beloved and wise Grannie McKay and will have a new audience for his multitude of jokes and stories. I also know the hole that exists in our lives just now as a result of his passing will be filled with joyous memories in time.'
In a personal tribute finance editor Jeff Prestridge described Mr Steel as “a colossus: charming, charismatic and arrogant.”
Writing in a newspaper he said: "His stubbornness was a strength, but also his Achilles' heel. Far more tragically, he was a fervent anti-vaccine supporter and it was Covid that took his life in the end. I'll miss him and the endless bottles of Rioja we joyously shared."