Tributes have been pouring in for Edward Stobart, the former managing director of Eddie Stobart, who has died aged 56.
Edward Stobart started with eight trucks and 12 employees in 1976 and by 25 years later the fleet had expanded to 1,000 trucks and 2,000 employees.
In a statement the Stobart Group said: “He was instrumental in bringing a sense of professionalism to the haulage industry and driving it forward into the 20th century. He concentrated on the attention to detail and professionalism which were the building blocks to the company’s success.
“He also captivated the public’s imagination by naming his trucks after girls. The first truck was christened Twiggy after the famous supermodel. The public’s interest in the trucks, and spotting the girls’ names, started the Eddie Stobart Fan Club which, at that time, had 25,000 members. He gave the industry an acceptable public face.”
Theo de Pencier, the Freight Transport Association’s chief executive, said: “In a sector not renowned for its public image, Edward Stobart pioneered a professional and respectable image that endeared the trucks that bear his name to the public. The haulage industry owes him a debt of gratitude for the way he brought a personal and human touch to the sector and helped earn the public’s respect for the job we do. In addition he laid the foundations for the diversified and successful business that it is today. Our condolences go to his family and friends.”
The widespread affection for Stobart is reflected in the tributes that have appeared in both national and regional newspapers:
Trucker legend Eddie Stobart dies
Lorry legend Stobart dies
Magnate behind Eddie Stobart hauliers dies, aged 56
Lorry boss Edward Stobart dies aged 56
Carlisle News & Star
Stobart was a true legend
Cumbria haulage boss Edward Stobart dies, aged 56
The Financial Times
Truck lover who transformed haulage image