Former England and Liverpool FC star John Barnes has been banned from driving
after being caught speeding in Cheshire. The 58-year-old TV pundit, who spent 10
seasons at Anfield was clocked on the A540 Chester High Road on April 7 doing more
than the 40mph limit in a BMW.
Chester Magistrates Court heard that John Barnes’ driving licence had expired at the
time of the offence.
Both of the ex-Liverpool player’s driving offences were proved under the single
justice procedure in August this year.
It allows those charged with minor criminal offences to have their case decided by a
magistrate without having to attend court.
Barnes was handed a six-month driving ban on Monday and received an automatic
disqualification due to his repeat offending.
He was also fined £750 and was ordered to stump up £110 for prosecution costs as
well as a £75 victim surcharge.
There was no separate penalty for driving with an expired licence.
The maximum penalty for driving with an expired licence carries a fine of up to
£1,000 and up to six penalty points.
But it is not the first time Barnes has found himself in trouble with the law due to his
The 58-year-old, who was awarded an MBE for his services to football, narrowly
swerved a driving ban in 2008 after being caught behind the wheel of his BMW X5
He told magistrates a ban would cause him “exceptional hardship” and that he
couldn’t afford to fork out to employ a driver.
Barnes said at the time: “I’d been in the Caribbean for two months when my
insurance ran out and I thought my wife had sorted it out.”
He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £35 costs within 56 days, while six points
were added to his licence.
Jamaican born Barnes enjoyed an illustrious football career, earning 79 caps playing
Known as “Digger” Barns to fans (after the character in Dallas), he had a few brief
stints in management following his retirement from the game.
He went on to become a football pundit, appearing on ITV, ESPN and Five as well as
the LFC TV channel.
Twice in his career, Barnes was voted Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the
Year and he also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005.