A POPULAR sports and social club is set to close its doors next week - with its future very much in the balance.

Committee members running the Pegasus Club in Herd Lane, Corringham - which until recently had 1,000-plus members - are to hold a “farewell” bash next weekend, when the club’s current lease expires.

The members-only do will mark the end of an era at the club which has been home to dozens of sports clubs since it opened in 1961.

The Gazette understands that administrators Pricewaterhouse Cooper are on the brink of agreeing a deal with a mysterious Malaysian consortium, but it is unclear what their intentions for the club will be.

Martyn Hathaway, manager at the Pegasus, said: “Hopefully the future of the club will be decided very shortly.

“For us, there are two potential outcomes.

“Either we shut the doors and walk away, which is what we have planned for, or these new buyers will take it forward as a sport club.”

The future of the club has been in doubt since the closure of Coryton oil refinery, for which the Pegasus was a members club. When the refinery’s owner Petroplus went into administration and Pricewaterhouse and Cooper acquired the assets, the refinery was sold with plans to eventually sell the Pegasus Club, too.

That process has taken almost two years, but could soon be coming to an end if this latest deal - believed to be the fourth serious bid that PwC have considered - goes through.

Member Gil Moore of Anthony Drive, Corringham said: “We’re leaving the club on April 31 and selling off everything we own, the fixtures, the fittings.

“We’re very disappointed.

“It’s a crying shame and still nothing has been finalised.”

Community teams which use the sprawling, self-sufficient club - the equivalent in size to 37 football pitches - have been forced to find a new home.

Mr Moore said the bowls club has moved the Billet club and is working with East Thurrock United to secure a future for itself there.

East Thurrock United failed in its bid to buy the Pegasus Club last year.

Pricewaterhouse and Cooper did not respond to our requests for comment.