WHAT do you get for a man who has been drinking in the same pub for 50 years?

A portrait of his much-loved dog is the answer if you are a regular at a St Denys watering hole.

Surrounded by friends at the Junction Inn, 80-year-old Charles Murray still remembers the day he walked through the door, at the tender age of 30, of the pub that would become his local.

Over the years, the partially-sighted retailer became well-known in the Priory Road pub, as did his guide dog Lottie when he became a drinking companion 12 years ago.

Furry friend Charles had frequently talked about having his furry friend immortalised in a painting but dismissed the idea fearing it would be too expensive.

However, when landlord and landlady Dawn Fildes and Martin Gentry found another customer who could paint, they hit upon the perfect way of commemorating his 50th anniversary with the pub.

Regular Greg Meade secretly took pictures of the dog and it was from one of these that artist Carole Coles worked.

Charles, who was chairman of Southampton Society for the Blind for ten years, said he was over the moon with his present.

He added: “The people in this pub are like family and I’m in here all the time for my meals or a drink.

“I know I can come in with Lottie and we will both know someone.

“I had just finished reading out the weekly meat draw at the pub when I was given my present.

“It was very emotional – I was nearly in tears.”

Charles is having a photograph of the picture made for his home as he wants the original to take pride of place in the pub.

Charles is also supplying Carole with snaps of his dog as a pup so she can paint a portrait of him in his prime.

Martin said: “Charles is a real character and liked by everyone who comes in so we wanted to celebrate the years he has been coming here.”

The Junction Inn was a Daily Echo Community Pub of the Year 2008.