Widower saved by trusty rubber-soled M&S slippers after home was struck by lightning

June 14, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

A widower was saved from a deadly lightning strike – thanks to his trusty Marks and SPARKS slippers.


Brian Phillips, 65, was thrown across his kitchen when a bolt of lightning struck his terraced home.

But he escaped without harm thanks to the pair of rubber-soled loafers which his daughter bought for him last Christmas.

Brian said: “It was the biggest bang I have ever heard. It sounded like it was in the room with me while I flew back against the wall.

“I was dazed when I got up and I couldn’t work out what had happened. I didn’t know if it was a bomb going off or a gas explosion.

“The paramedics told me the slippers probably saved my life as they checked my feet for exit marks but they believe the rubber kept me grounded.

“They’re not just any slippers. They’re M&S slippers.”

Brian was washing up after dinner on Sunday evening when the lighting bolt struck.

Brian Phillips, 65 who was saved by his slippers when lightning struck his house (Beds on Sunday / SWNS)

Brian Phillips, 65 who was saved by his slippers when lightning struck his house (Beds on Sunday / SWNS)

Getting up from the floor, he ventured outside to see what was going on and was met by confused neighbours.

One neighbour’s fire place exploded and others had their internet and phones cut off as their aerials were plugged in to the mains.

Brian said: “It was scary. It is not the sort of thing you expect to happen and it seemed to come out of nowhere.

“It just didn’t sound like thunder, it was just one big bang and all the electrics had gone off.”

Brian was confronted by a firefighter who asked if he was okay – after realising what had happened he soon sorted a paramedic to come and check him over.

The retired BT worker said: “They told me to go to hospital but it wasn’t practical. I’ve been electrocuted before and fallen through a roof in the past.

“I am like a cat, I have got nine lives. I felt a little dodgy after banging into the wall but I am carrying a little bit of weight which probably padded me in the blast.”

Brian wears his slippers whenever he is at home and he was given them the Christmas before last by his daughter Sarah Tyers, 29.

He added: “My slippers are ready for the bin now but I’m going to keep hold of them after that.”

Brian Phillips house in Bedford (Luan Hall / SWNS)

Brian Phillips house in Bedford (Luan Hall / SWNS)

But Brian says the biggest tragedy, even though his TV no longer works, is that his coffee machine has been killed off.

Thankfully the much-loved Tassimo coffee machine is under warranty so he is pleased to be getting sent a replacement.

His only daughter Sarah is currently on holiday in the Maldives but the nurse told her dad he should have gone to hospital to get checked over.

He added: “I’ve received a bit of a telling off. I probably should have gone to hospital but I was just a bit dazed.”

Brian’s wife of 40 years Margaret passed away almost three years ago when she was 62 after suffering from cancer.

A single bolt of lightening can discharge to a billion volts of electricity.

Brian, from Bedford, Beds., said he had just finished clearing up after eating his evening dinner when the storm started.

He was using a sharp ten-inch metal carving knife and metal carving fork on a turkey joint as he was cutting off a slice as a treat for his cat, Emma.

The joint was being cut on a board on his kitchen work surface when he was shot backwards, around a metre and a half away into a wall in his kitchen.

He landed still with the carving knife in his hand.

The lightning strike that hit Brian's house (Luan Hall / SWNS)

The lightning strike that hit Brian’s house (Luan Hall / SWNS)

Brian said: “It would have been quite ironic for me to have survived being struck by lightning, only to have stabbed myself with a razor sharp carving knife.”

He was wearing a pair of size 10 slippers which are made from an imitation suede with a fluffy inside and rubber sole when he was struck.

The purchase was a Christmas gift but he believes they were roughly £15.

Brian added: “I didn’t realise you could get struck by lightning in the house but I guess that’s why you get warned about unplugging things and switching things off.

“I was so disorientated when I got up off the floor.

“It’s like that feeling sometimes when you wake up in the morning and for a moment you don’t quite know where you are or what’s going on.

“I was blank and my body just felt numb for a few moments.”

(Luan Hall / SWNS)

(Luan Hall / SWNS)

Marks and Spencer confirmed the slippers Mr Phillips was wearing cost £15 – and said they would send him a new pair to celebrate their success in saving his life.

An M&S spokesperson said: “It sounds like Mr Phillips had a pretty shocking experience when he had settled down for the evening in his M&S slippers.

“We’re delighted he is safe and blown away to hear that our humble slippers played a part in saving his life.

“We’re sending him a brand new pair to celebrate – although of course we’re confident that lightening won’t strike twice.”

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