'They are the heart of our community': Thousands back petition to save popular Rugby landlords

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Thousands of people are backing the landlords of a Rugby pub who have been told they have 12 weeks to get out.

Punters at the William Webb Ellis are outraged at Marston brewery’s decision to remove Derek and Karen Owen from the pub.

Nickie Brightwell, who is one of the Arden Angels charity co-ordinators which helps local cancer patients, stepped into action after hearing about the eviction.

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She launched a petition to help buy the couple more time at the pub.

Derek and Karen Owen at the pub.Derek and Karen Owen at the pub.
Derek and Karen Owen at the pub.

It’s already been signed by nearly 3,000 people.

Nickie said: “This is one of the most successful pubs in Rugby, thriving solely due to Derek and Karen’s hard work and commitment. They are not just publicans; they are the heart of our community. Ultimately they are the William Webb Ellis.

"Their dedication to this pub and Rugby is faultless even working through Derek’s Cancer Treatment and Karen's emergency surgery they kept that pub going.

“They have assisted in helping the Arden Angels reach a staggering 126k. Marstons even donating themselves. This money helps local cancer centres in both Rugby and Coventry.”

The couple have worked for the brewery for 28 years.

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They first go behind the bar at the Warwick Street venue 17 years ago and planned to stay at the pub for another three years.

The area manager delivered the news to the couple last week.

A Marston’s spokesperson said: “We have decided, over a period of time, that the pub needs to operate under a different agreement to reach its potential for its guests and the operator, the current licensees are aware of this.”

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