POPULAR Wollaston pub landlord Wayne Etheridge will call time on the Britannia Sports Bar early next month.

Spiralling costs have made the pub financially unviable to the point  where Mr Etheridge said: "It's costing me just to stay open."

His lease with Stonegate Pub Partners is due to expire on September 10, but Mr Etheridge added: "I could be out by next Friday.

"Trade has not recovered since Covid and I simply cannot afford to keep the pub going."

The Britannia has become an iconic sports venue since Mr Etheridge took over 13 years ago.

A glittering array of sports personalities have graced the pub during that time - and true to form that theme continued recently when football personality Darren Moore made a guest appearance.

The legendary West Bromwich Albion defender has only just parted company with Sheffield Wednesday as their manager.

But he was on hand to help raise funds for the West Bromwich Albion Foundation.

A total of £2,500 was raised during the evening and Mr Etheridge said: "Darren came over as a really nice bloke who has never forgotten his roots.

"He's doing some media work for Sky Sports at the moment but he's hoping to get back into football soon. He's just waiting for the right opportunity."

There are plans to turn the Britannia into a sports bar and grill and Mr Etheridge believes the pub will close for a few days while the handover takes place.

In the meantime, Mr Etheridge will continue to remain a familiar figure on the local sports scene with his sport nights.

He said: "I shall be taking my sport nights around the area. I've already got 25 to 30 venues lined up and I'm hoping to line up a deal with former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith when he returns from the States".