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

Ex Aston Villa star Glenn Whelan, 38, dodges speeding ban for doing 49mph in a 40mph zone after telling court he needs to be able to drive 156 miles to play for Bristol Rovers

Former Aston Villa footballer Glenn Whelan has escaped a ban for speeding – because he needs to keep driving 156 miles to play in matches.

The midfielder, 38, was clocked doing 49mph in a 40mph on the A55 at Aber, near Bangor, north Wales while returning from Ireland to see his sick mother.

Prosecutors told Mold magistrates’ court that Whelan had nine penalty points on his licence, ‘all being speeding matters’.

But the player’s lawyer said if he were to lose his licence it would cost him around £200 to travel by train each time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers, which wouldn’t be worth doing the journey.

Bristol Rovers midfielder Glenn Whelan pleaded ‘exceptional hardship’ to keep his licence after he was caught doing 49mph in a 40mph near Bangor, Wales

Paul Reddy, defending, said there had been a ‘momentary lapse of concentration’ at roadworks where Whelan was caught by a speed camera.

He added that Whelan on average drove 30,000 miles a year.

Whelan admitted speeding but pleaded ‘exceptional hardship’ to keep his licence so he could drive to matches.

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

But the player's lawyer said if he were to lose his licence it would cost him around £200 to travel by train each time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers, which wouldn't be worth doing the journey

But the player’s lawyer said if he were to lose his licence it would cost him around £200 to travel by train each time he went to play for his League Two side Bristol Rovers, which wouldn’t be worth doing the journey

‘He wants to play as long as he can,’ the lawyer remarked.

Mr Reddy said Whelan, earning £4,000 to £5,000 a month, would be unable to get home by train at night following mid-week games. He was also the coach for his son’s Sunday football team.

‘I request you consider giving him a further lifeline, allowing him to keep his licence,’ Mr Reddy said to the magistrates.

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

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

‘He will be an extremely careful driver for the foreseeable future.’

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

If he were banned, it could affect his son’s football team and jeopardise his potential role as a player-coach at Rovers.

But the exceptional hardship argument couldn’t be re-used for three years. ‘Make sure you drive very carefully,’ the magistrate warned Whelan.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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