FORMER Swindon Town footballer Paul Hunt is the new landlord of the Plough Inn.

The striker, who played for the club between 1989 and 1993 and later went on to become an inspirational figure at Forest Green Rovers, said he had been given a great welcome from regulars at the Old Town hostelry.

Paul used to run the Wheatsheaf, in Ermin Street, but left to get back involved with football.

He told the Advertiser he had been searching through last year for a venue to take over and that’s when he spotted the Plough.

“I have always loved running a pub and getting involved with punters,” he said. “I’m a local lad myself and for me it’s great to be able to interact with people from around the town.

“I heard the Plough Inn was available and went to view it two months ago. I fell in love with it, it’s a great looking venue.

“I have always had a great relationship with Arkells so I told them that I was very interested and now I’m the new landlord, I couldn’t be any happier.”

As with the Wheatsheaf, the Plough will be a wet-led pub, which means it won’t be offering food and will focus on serving top of the range beer, wine, gin and other drinks.

Paul has already introduced a cheese and wine night where visitors get a free cheeseboard. There is also gin tasting, a quiz night, and an all you can drink prosecco evening, as well as live music every Sunday.

He was part of Swindon Town FC 15 years, joining at the age of 10. He played under managers Lou Macari and Glenn Hoddle before stints with other clubs like Cardiff City, Bristol Rovers, Supermarine and Highworth Town.

He was part of the Forest Green side that reached the 2001 FA Trophy final.

Paul wants to incorporate his playing days into the pub, with memorabilia on display and former team mates visiting. He said: “Old Town has always been the place I wanted to do this, I love the culture and heritage in this part of the town.

“If you run a pub right and put the locals at the centre of what you do they will stick by you.

“I like to look after people and to me the best feeling will be knowing that when they leave my pub they will be able to say I’ve had a good night.”