The lingering death throes of the Sumners pub in Preston were being played out this weekend as bulldozers moved in to clear the grounds and car park ready for redevelopment.
While the future use of the site is still shrouded in mystery, locals were left mourning one of the best-known watering holes for football fans attending matches at the nearby Preston North End stadium.
One man, who has been a regular at the pub for almost 30 years, said: “It’s sad, very sad. At one time this pub was buzzing every night of the week, but especially on match days.
“It became a focal point for North End fans and those visiting from other clubs.
“The saga of whether it was going to close or not has been going on for a couple of years now. One minute it was shutting, the next it was staying open. I’ve lost count of how many times it has changed.
“But the bulldozers have come in now and, while they are only clearing the grounds around the pub and removing trees, it looks pretty certain it won’t be opening again.”
The Sumners, which replaced a pub by the same name in 1985 on the junction of Watling Street Road and what is now Sir Tom Finney Way, was put up for sale earlier this year with an asking price of around £600,000.
In May agents for the sale said it was under offer and would probably continue as a pub in the short-term.
“I don’t think the football fans have anything to worry about in the next couple of years, ” said a spokesman at the time for CBRE, the Manchester-based firm who have been marketing the pub.
“We have got it under offer by a party looking to do a number of things with the property. Probably in the short-term it will continue as a pub.”
The Sumners finally closed its doors around a week ago.