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Ex Aston Villa star Glenn Whelan evades speeding ban so he can drive to play for Bristol Rovers

Ex Aston Villa star Glenn Whelan, 38, evades speeding ban for driving 79mph in 40mph zone after telling court he must be able to drive 156 miles to play for Bristol Rovers

  • Glenn Whelan, 38, was caught 49mph in a 40mph near Bangor, Wales
  • Bristol Rovers player has nine penalty points on his license, all speeding
  • He pleaded for ‘exceptional hardship’ to keep his license due to the £200 train cost to travel from his home to play for Bristol Rovers
  • Mold magistrates fined the footballer £307 with costs and awarded him three points










Former Aston Villa footballer Glenn Whelan has escaped a speeding ban after being forced to drive 156 miles to play matches.

The 38-year-old midfielder was clocked 49mph in a 40mph on the A55 in Aber, near Bangor, North Wales as he returned from Ireland to see his ailing mother.

Prosecutors told the Mold Magistrates court that Whelan had nine penalty points on his driver’s license, “all speed issues.”

But the player’s lawyer said if he lost his license it would cost him around £200 to travel by train every time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers which wouldn’t be worth it to make the journey.

Bristol Rovers midfielder Glenn Whelan pleaded 'exceptional hardship' to keep his license after being caught 79mph in a 40mph near Bangor, Wales

Bristol Rovers midfielder Glenn Whelan pleaded ‘exceptional hardship’ to keep his license after being caught 79mph in a 40mph near Bangor, Wales

Defensive Paul Reddy said there had been a “temporary loss of concentration” at roadworks where Whelan was caught by a speed camera.

He added that Whelan averaged 30,000 miles a year.

Whelan admitted to speeding but pleaded “exceptional hardship” to keep his driver’s license so he could drive to competitions.

The former Republic of Ireland player had five months left of his existing one-year contract.

But the player's lawyer said if he lost his license it would cost him around £200 to travel by train every time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers which wouldn't be worth it to make the journey.

But the player’s lawyer said if he lost his license it would cost him around £200 to travel by train every time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers which wouldn’t be worth it to make the journey.

“He wants to play as long as possible,” the lawyer noted.

Mr Reddy said Whelan, who earns £4,000 to £5,000 a month, would not be able to get home by train in the evenings after midweek matches. He was also the coach of his son’s Sunday soccer team.

“I beg you to consider giving him an extra lifeline so he can keep his license,” Mr. Reddy told the magistrates.

John Perera, chairman of the Mold Magistrates' Court, fined the footballer £307 with £144 costs and three points.  The magistrate said Whelan had an 'unusual' lifestyle

John Perera, chairman of the Mold Magistrates’ Court, fined the footballer £307 with £144 costs and three points. The magistrate said Whelan had an ‘unusual’ lifestyle

“He will be an extremely cautious driver for the foreseeable future.”

Court president John Perera fined the footballer £307 with £144 costs and three points. The magistrate said Whelan had an “unusual” lifestyle.

Suspension could affect his son’s football team and jeopardize his potential role as a player-coach at Rovers.

But the argument of exceptional hardship could not be used again for three years. “Be sure to drive very carefully,” Magistrate Whelan warned.

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