One of Bromley’s most famous residents, Rio Ferdinand, pleaded with a judge to let him keep his licence after he was caught speeding in Hove.
The pundit argued that he needed to be able to drive his children around following the death of his wife and mother from cancer.
But the magistrate dismissed his plea and the 41-year-old was served with a six-month ban after his Mercedes hit 85mph on the A27 Hangleton interchange at Hove last July, which has a speed limit of 70mph.
The former Manchester United star told magistrates at Crawley Magistrates’ Court this morning that he he could not allow his children to travel with a chauffeur.
The father-of-three said that the trauma of losing their mother and grandmother, alongside the ongoing coronavirus crisis, meant that he needed to keep his licence.
His wife Rebecca died of breast cancer in 2015 and his mum Janice St Fort also died from cancer in 2017.
He was asked if he had the means to hire a chauffeur for his children, telling the court: “Yes, but I have explained my reluctance to do that.”
The speeding incident on July 22 earned the former defender three points on his licence, taking his total to the 12-point limit.
He entered a guilty plea by post in January, appearing at court today.
Defending, Udo Onwere said: “Rio lost his mother two years ago.
“She was the primary carer for the children because he also lost his wife.
“He has to travel with his kids. He is very protective towards his children who have had a massive trauma twice in their lives.
“They really rely on him to take them to and from events.
“This has been exacerbated with he situation with Covid.
“It has been difficult to arrange other people. They are too young to use public transport themselves.
“He does understand speeding should not be looked on kindly which is why we entered the swift guilty plea.
“This is a situation Rio battles with on a daily basis. Being able to drive them around is a huge part of that.”
After entering the guilty plea, Rio argued that his ban should be suspended or shortened given the exceptional circumstances.
He told magistrates in Crawley: “Covid is an issue.
“I wouldn’t let my kids get in a taxi. I wouldn’t allow it.
“Even in a normal situation I wouldn’t allow it with my profile.”
Prosecutor Sharon Allen asked him if his wife, Kate Wright who he married last year, was able to drive, to which he answered: “Yes, but it’s very difficult with three children.”
The court heard Rio had three previous speeding convictions in March 2017, May 2018 and April 2019.
Chairman of the bench Geoffrey Allen told Rio: “Covid has affected everybody in the whole world in the same way.
“Everybody has those same concerns.”
In 2012 he was banned from driving after being caught speeding on the same road three times in less than six weeks.
Along with the six month ban, magistrates fined him a total of £822 in fines and costs.