Customers enjoy the football and family spirit at Gosport local

10/2/2012 (MOL) LOVE YOUR LOCAL ''The Green Dragon in Rowner Road, Gosport.''Pictured is: Staff (l-r) Emma Bradley, Leigh Bollard, landlord, Ben Bradley, Cheryl Ayres, Bazza Atkinson and Emma Davies, assistant manager.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120501-6126)
10/2/2012 (MOL) LOVE YOUR LOCAL ''The Green Dragon in Rowner Road, Gosport.''Pictured is: Staff (l-r) Emma Bradley, Leigh Bollard, landlord, Ben Bradley, Cheryl Ayres, Bazza Atkinson and Emma Davies, assistant manager.''Picture: Sarah Standing (120501-6126)
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The future of Pompey may look uncertain, but one Gosport pub is looking to keep the spirit of the club alive.

The shirt of former Pompey centre-forward Paul Walsh is displayed in a frame behind the bar of The Green Dragon, on Rowner Lane.

Landlord Leigh Bollard, who has run the local for 18 months, bought the shirt a few years ago from Steve Williams, the former landlord of The Barley Mow, in Castle Road, Southsea.

Leigh decided to bring it with him to the pub because he is proud of the club’s history.

He said: ‘I get a lot of Pompey fans in the pub and they love it.

‘They’re always commenting on it and reminiscing back to when Paul played for the club. He was a cult hero.

‘I used to be a season ticket holder myself and I watched Pompey play at the FA Cup Final and in Europe.

‘It’s great to bring all those memories with me to this pub.’

Before Leigh took over the pumps, the pub had a bad reputation amongst residents in the area.

But the 44-year-old has turned things around at the Victorian local and given it a new lease of life.

Before the pub had just one darts team. Now it has six teams as well as a football squad and two pool teams.

Last year, the pub held a horse racing night in aid of children’s charity Wish House.

Customers and staff helped to pull in £366 towards the worthy cause.

David Hawkes, 61, of Williams Close, Rowner, has been a regular at the pub for eight years.

He said: ‘Leigh has really turned things around. There’s much more of a family atmosphere now. Before there would just be a handful of people in here having a drink.’