Former Leeds rugby league stalwart Arthur Staniland never had so much as a speeding ticket during more than 70 years of motoring.
Retired car salesman Mr Staniland, who died aged 89 in June of this year, maintained his impeccable driving record throughout his life.
But a £60 penalty charge notice from Bradford Council after his death left his 84-year-old widow, June, of Pool-in-Wharfedale, “shocked and upset.”
The council said Mr Staniland’s car was spotted illegally using a bus lane on Bolton Road, Bradford, on October 25 this year – four months after his death.
Mr Staniland’s son Andrew, 56, of Horsforth, contacted the council explaining that his father’s car had been sold following his death.
But the council did not cancel the ticket until after the YEP contacted the local authority.
Retired teacher Andrew Staniland said: “My mother became anxious and said, ‘How can this be possible, he is dead?’ She was upset, it shook her up. Fair enough, if they had done their checks and the car was registered in my father’s name, they were right to send the penalty notice in the first place. Once I informed them he had died four-and-a-half months previously, it was like talking to a brick wall. We were just getting tick-box responses back.
“Out of exasperation, I offered to send them my father’s death certificate and I got a really terse reply saying, ‘Yes, we will need this for auditing purposes.’”
Stephen Hook, of Bradford Council, wrote in an email to Andrew Staniland: “In the circumstances I will cancel the penalty charge notice, but I must point out that Bradford Council are in no way responsible for the cause of any upset or stress. The contravention was committed on 25.10.13 and the registered keeper details were received on the 06.11.13 with your late father’s details. It is the vendor’s responsibility, along with the purchasers, to provide the DVLA with the details of both parties, the purchaser obviously has not, hopefully you still have their details and can contact the DVLA.”
DEBUT FOR LEEDS AT AGE OF 16
ARTHUR Staniland made his debut for Leeds aged just 16 on New Year’s Day, 1944, at York.
He went on to make 95 first team appearances and scored 49 tries in his career with the club.
As well as playing for the first team, he was also a regular in the successful Leeds ‘A’ team, winning several ‘A’ team leagues and cups.
He had a spell on loan to Oldham during the last years of the Second World War, when there was a shortage of professional players.
He left Leeds in December 1952 along with Harold Oddy as part of the deal that saw George Broughton transfer to Leeds from Castleford.
Mr Staniland played for Castleford from 1952 to 1956.
He went on to coach Halifax, Batley and Bramley before retiring from the game in 1973. His son Andrew Staniland followed in his father’s footsteps and also played as a winger for Leeds from 1985 to 1988.