Footie star buys pub
PUBLISHED: 17:59 30 September 2009 | UPDATED: 17:13 25 August 2010
PREMIERSHIP and England footballer Jimmy Bullard scored when he bought a pub with his father. The Hull City player will leave the day-to-day running of the One Bell Pub, Old Road, Crayford to his father, Jimmy Bullard senior. They struck the deal to buy
PREMIERSHIP and England footballer Jimmy Bullard scored when he bought a pub with his father.
The Hull City player will leave the day-to-day running of the One Bell Pub, Old Road, Crayford to his father, Jimmy Bullard senior.
They struck the deal to buy the freehold for an undisclosed sum after the star's father was given the boot from the Bexley council-owned West Lodge Sports and Social Club after 20 years.
The 30-year-old, who began his football career at Dartford FC, then Gravesend and Northfleet FC (now Ebbsfleet Utd) says he is delighted with the new buy.
Speaking as he prepares to return from a nine-month injury, the modest star said: "It's mainly my dad's project. I'm just helping him out a bit really.
"He has always been involved with the community and it was a real shame when the council took the club away from him after about 20 years.
"We talked and he was keen to run a pub so when this came up we snapped it up. I'm helping out with the design a bit. My dad's really old fashioned, God knows what it would look like if I left it all to him so we are working together as much as we can.
"I have managed to get some memorabilia and signed shirts which we will put up and really give it that personal touch.
"I just hope he invites me to the opening."
After a short closure for refurbishment the pub is set to re-open with a more contemporary style in place.
The pub is situated two miles outside Dartford town centre and close to Crayford dog track. Facilities include a 38-cover main bar with games area, large beer garden and a three-bedroom owner's accommodations.
Jimmy Bullard senior added: "For twenty years I have run West Lodge. It was a well known place and we have great customers and clubs. It was rented off Bexley council but they took it back in January and we were all gutted.
"In 20 years there has never been in trouble, a great facility snatched away from the community."
"I spoke to Jimmy, he said 'don't worry dad, I'll tell you what we'll do. We will buy a pub and take the customers with us. Jimmy has been great helping out and getting involved."
Jimmy Bullard has been plagued with a serious knee injury since he signed for 'The Tigers', after agreeing a £5 million fee with Fulham last January.
The player added: "I'm not far away from a return. I couldn't give you an exact game. It could be four or five weeks, I've been out for eight or nine months and can't wait to get out there and do my bit for the team."
A spokesperson for Bexley Council said: "The social club was needed to rationalise our office accommodation.
"It has now been refurbished and has 21 work stations used by adult social services.