A PUB once described as "magnificent" and rich in history but left deserted in recent years has been bought for £140,000.

The King pub, in Somerton Road, Newport was purchased by an anonymous telephone buyer on May 9 at a Paul Fosh Auction.

Speaking after the sale, Paul Fosh, marketing director and auctioneer said: "We are really pleased with the lot.

"The former pub and land created a great deal of interest at the auction.

"The guided price was £60,000 so it was good it got over double.

"The property was bought by an undisclosed investor from London. I would think the most likely future use of the site would be for the building to be demolished and the land redeveloped, subject to planning."

The former pub on Somerton Road, Newport, stands in a plot of just over half an acre in a predominantly residential area close to Junction 24 of the M4 and to the Southern Distributor Road.

In the past applications to demolish the pub and build flats and echoes of making it into affordable housing were discussed.

President and former chairman of Newport County AFC , David Hando, 75, of Newport said he was "delighted" to hear something would be done with what was once the club's base.

"It was very sad to see it in a state of dereliction," he said.

"I am delighted someone will take it on, as long as it is back in use and tidied up it is very positive."

Mr Hando said the Newport County's rich history with the pub spanned 100 years.

"In 1912, before Somerton Park had changing rooms the teams used to change at the pub then trot across the road to the park," he said.

"It was our base, our office, we did our laundry there and had all our gatherings there."

Lliswerry councilor Alan Morris, who had his first pint in this now run-down building, said he was pleased it had been bought.

"This once magnificent building has now become a real thorn in the side of the people living in the area," he said.

"As ward councillor we receive a constant stream of complaints and hopefully the new owners will develop it at the nearest opportunity."