Landlords who have steered the ship of a popular pub for more than two decades in Chadderton have bid an emotional goodbye as they closed the doors for the final time.

In a shock announcement in October this year, Sue and Steve Rutter, who have run The Springbank pub on Hunt Lane for more than 25 years, revealed they were stepping down.

The pair shared in a post on social media that the premises will be going up for sale while they enjoy the next chapter of their retirement.

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The Rutter's suggested they had been in negotiations with Stonegate Group, the company which owns the pub, but a decision was made instead to retire from pub life.

They said signs will be appearing around the pub "imminently" as the company will look to sell the premises.

On Sunday, November 26, the pair said they then called "time" at the Springbank "for the last time".

In various posts on social media, the Rutter's said: "Thank you for all the messages and good wishes to us, it means a lot.

"We must have done something right in the past 25 and a half years.

"We are retiring from the pub trade, but not retiring from life."

After their final weekend, they added: "We will do our thanks when the tears subside, but for now, love you all."

Loyal customers have since flocked to social media to share their fond memories and best wishes to the family as they move on.

A man said The Springbank would be going in his "legendary pubs of Oldham book" while another said he enjoyed "brilliant nights" playing pool and watching the Manchester Derby.

"Brilliant people, red and blue", he continued, "hope everything goes well for Steve and Sue in your retirement.

"Thank you both for being brilliant hosts."

A woman wrote: "Some very good memories made in there for me. I wish you all the best and was gutted I couldn't come in this weekend."

Another customer added: "So sad to see this great pub close. Had many, many fantastic nights in there over the years with the past and present landlords and landladies - the memories will last forever.

"Good luck with your retirement, Steve and Sue, you deserve it."

Another comment read: "All the best guys. It's been a pleasure to have a drink in your pub over the years. Enjoy the next chapter."

The Springbank Pub and Stonegate Group have been approached for comment.

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