LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - Edward Stobart, who turned the family trucking company into one of Britain’s best-known brands as his distinctive green and white lorries thundered along the country’s motorways, has died at the age of 56.
The company said in a statement: “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 a.m. this morning at University Hospital Coventry, after heart problems yesterday.”
Although not involved with today’s Stobart Group, Edward was managing director of Eddie Stobart Ltd for over 30 years, a business started by his father Eddie.
He sold the company to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004.
William Stobart continues the family involvement in his role as chief operating officer of the group.
What began in the 1950s as an agricultural business in Cumbria, northern England, turned into haulage company Eddie Stobart Ltd in the 1970s, eventually passing to Edward.
Once named after female singers, the trucks and their smartly dressed drivers are an integral feature of the British trunk road network, the subject of a million counting and I-Spy games on long car journeys.
Such is the cult status of the firm that it has its own fan club and dedicated army of “Stobart spotters” who keep tabs on the fleet of nearly 2,000 trucks. (Reporting by Steve Addison; Editing by Keith Weir)