Published: 10:00, 10 February 2017 |
Updated: 18:58, 11 February 2017
Boxing legend Kellie Maloney is set to take over a pub.
The 63-year-old, who lives in Kent, is in talks with Enterprise Inns to become the landlady of the Unicorn in Marden.
She hopes to take the reins in April after Keith Rookledge bids farewell to the High Street venue.
Miss Maloney, who has three children, has been seen around the village frequently in the past few weeks and has been seen eating lunch at the pub.
A close friend said: “She sees a lot of potential in the Unicorn and wants to get a normal life away from the spotlight. She’s hoping to revamp the pub but does not want it to lose any of its charm.”
The promoter and manager, previously known as Frank, began living as a woman in 2014 and has since appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and rarely stayed out of the headlines.
From 1978 to 1992 at the height of a glittering career, which included managing Lennox Lewis to the title of undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, she ran five pubs across the South East, including the Crayford Arms, in Crayford, and one-time pub of the year the Castle in Aldgate, London.
Miss Maloney has been a vocal supporter of the pub trade.
Her friend said: “Kellie thinks pubs are the centre of many villages and towns and there are too many closing down. Not only is this ripping the heart out of communities but many local people are losing their jobs. That’s why she is looking to start a campaign group to lobby parliament to do something about the closures.”
Mr Rookledge will be leaving the Unicorn on Monday, April 3, after 35 years as a publican and hopes to travel the world for a year.
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