Cumbria

Edward Stobart died bankrupt, court documents show

Edward Stobart
Image caption Edward Stobart has been praised for his kind nature

Haulage magnate Edward Stobart died bankrupt, it has emerged.

Documents show Mr Stobart, who built Cumbria's Eddie Stobart haulage firm into a household name, petitioned for bankruptcy in July 2010.

Mr Stobart, who sold the company in 2004, had personal debts of £220,000 when he died on 31 March, aged 56, as a a result of heart problems.

The businessman, who lived in Warwickshire, took over a lorry trailer firm which failed in 2009.

Edward Stobart had petitioned for bankruptcy at Warwick County Court and his name is listed on the national Insolvency Register.

His occupation is listed as a company director and promoter and his status as bankrupt. This status was due for automatic discharge on 5 July, 2011.

RSM Tenon, the insolvency firm which original dealt with the case, said: "Known creditors have claims amounting to around £220,000. No material assets have yet been recovered."

Mr Stobart took over his father's Cumbrian firm in 1976 and built it into one of the most well-known haulage companies in the world.

'Kind and loyal'

The firm had eight trucks and 12 employees when he took over. By 2001, that had risen to 1,000 lorries and 2,000 staff, operating from 27 sites.

The company even had a "fan club", which attracted 25,000 members at at its height.

Image caption A lorry-shaped floral tribute was among those left outside the cathedral

Mr Stobart was managing director for more than 30 years but sold the business to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler, in 2004.

The Stobart Group said Mr Stobart's financial affairs were "a private matter".

The firm previously described him as a "a true legend of the haulage industry".

Richard Butcher, chief executive of Stobart Group, said: "I worked with him for a number of years and he was an absolute gentleman. A very generous, a very kind man. A very shy man in some respects.

"He demanded the best from everyone who worked with him, but he was loyal to those who worked with him throughout his time at the business."

The funeral of Mr Stobart took place at Carlisle Cathedral last month. The proceedings were relayed to about 200 people watching large television screens outside.

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