SOLENT STARS basketball club has been forced into self-enforced exile after being kicked out by their landlords at Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Eastleigh.

With no alternative permanent home available, the club has pulled the plug on its English Basketball League playing commitments for the new season, representing a spectacular collapse of one of the great names in south Hampshire sport.

The Stars are said to have been evicted from Fleming Park due to the late payment of bills and a reluctance to use the venue to promote and develop the game at grass-roots level.

Crowds of more than 1,200 used to flock into Fleming Park to see the Stars in their glory days of the 1980s but owner Bob Paulley declined to comment on the shock collapse of his club.

But he has sent a 100-page report to the sport's governing body, England Basketball, as well as local MPs stating why the Stars club can't continue at the present time.

Jim Rumsey, a man closely associated with the club through their 27 years, admits that being forced out of Fleming Park was only part of a bigger problem.

A lot of the Stars' English players decamped to the Southampton Trailblazers last year with both the club's junior and women's sections having severed ties in recent years.

A Stars statement added: "The directors regret that it will be a disappointment to all talented, local players that there will be no club playing at the top level for the foreseeable future."