British haulage managing director Edward Stobart dies at age 56

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Edward Stobart, famed for his construction of the Eddie Stobart truck empire and being its chief executive officer for over thirty years, has died at the age of 56. In a statement, the Stobart Group commented: "It is with great sadness and regret that Stobart Group shares the news that Edward Stobart, son of Eddie Stobart, passed away at 8:10 AM this morning at University Hospital Coventry, after heart problems yesterday."

When Eddie Stobart — Edward's father, who is aged over eighty — created the company during the 1950s in Cumbria in northern England, it originally involved itself in the business of agriculture. In the 1970s, the business was given the name Eddie Stobart Limited and became a haulage service. Eddie Stobart then handed over the company to his son. The enterprise subsequently became the most popular of that industry within the United Kingdom, according to BBC News Online; it extended to include transportation by air and railways, as well as warehousing and management of logistics.

Due to the cult following that they had achieved via a fanbase of 'Stobart spotters', which involves the observation of their company's uniquely named vehicles, the Stobart Group decided to create an official followers' group, which now has in excess of twenty-five thousand members. Eddie Stobart-branded merchandise has also been released.

William Stobert — the brother of Edward Stobart — and Andrew Tinkler purchased the business from Edward in 2004. Edward subsequently relocated to the Midlands and took over what was to become an unsuccessful truck trailer building firm in 2009.

Edward Stobart experienced his death in Coventry, England at 0810 BST (0710 UTC) on Thursday. The Stobart Group have expressed their condolences to "Edward's wife Mandy, his children and family at this difficult time."

Haulage firm Preston's of Potto's chairwoman Ann Preston described Edward as "the most iconic figure that has ever been in this industry" and that the death of a man who "was very passionate about road transport" and "didn't want to do anything else" since he was a child was "a massive loss". The Stobart Members' Club have stated: "The club's members will certainly have fond memories of the man who started the phenomenon off, created the iconic Eddie Stobart brand and made it cool to spot lorries. Stobart Spotting will continue and the legacy of Edward Stobart will live on."


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