CALLS are being made to save a city pub from closing permanently.
The Eastfield Hotel in Prince Albert Road, Southsea, had its last trading day yesterday and will face permanent closure unless a new tenant is found.
Current owner Ian Ogilvie has been forced to shut down the pub due to ill health and has said he’s devastated.
The former taxi driver took over the Eastfield Hotel three years ago and it was the first pub he had owned.
The 48-year-old said: ‘I was truly gutted when I realised I wouldn’t be able to run it any more.
‘I’m in a state of bad health at the moment and I can’t carry on. I’m devastated.
‘Taking over the pub was a huge lifestyle change but I enjoyed every minute of it.
‘All the regulars are upset too so we’re all hoping that someone can come in and keep it open.’
The pub was the meeting place for many Pompey fans before and after a game.
Ashley Brown, chairman of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust and director of the club, said it is sad that it’s closing.
‘I used to meet my friends there before and after a game to discuss Pompey and have a few beers.’ he said.
‘It’s sad when any pub closes in the city but it reflects our day and age.
‘Pubs for the regulars just don’t seem to be as popular any more but I hope they are able to find someone new to take it over.
‘A massive group of my friends used to meet there when Pompey were on the up but now they have dropped a few leagues, the numbers seem to have gone down which might have had some effect.’
Regular customers joined Ian in the pub for its last day.
Terry Williams, of Middlesex Road, Southsea, has been drinking at the pub for nearly 40 years.
The 74-year-old said: ‘It’s sickening that the pub is closing because Ian is a smashing bloke and he’s bought this pub up from the dead. Him and his wife have done wonders.’
Brian Barry moved to Portsmouth in the 1970s and the Eastfield Hotel has been his regular pub.
He said of the closure: ‘I was gutted when I found out but hopefully they can find a new owner.’