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WHO WOULD LIVE IN A HOUSE LIKE THIS?; Wales and Celtic striker Hartson misses out on modern mansion despite his late tackle.

Byline: David James

HE has outplayed the world's top defenders while playing for Wales and Celtic - but soccer star John Hartson has been beaten at home.

The 28-year-old striker was not quick enough in a battle for the most expensive property on the South Wales coast.

Celebrities and sportsmen were interested in the Ewenny Court mansion's panoramic views over the world-famous Merthyr Mawr sand dunes and the Vale of Glamorgan heritage coast.

But it was snatched up by Rhondda businessman Wayne Devine for a record pounds 2.8m before it could be advertised.

Estate Agent Richard Morgan, of Watts and Morgan, said: ``John Hartson did look around the property, as did several other celebrities, but he was too late.

``We did not advertise the prop-erty, but had four potential buyers.

``Several celebrities from the film and sports worlds came to look at it.

``It's crazy London prices here in Wales. I cannot think of another house like it and none in Wales that have sold for anything like that.''

The six-bedroom modern mansion - equipped with a gym, sauna, spa bath and swimming pool - has inspired both awe and disgust since it was finished 18 months ago. Bridgend council spokesman Liam Ronan said: ``I think it's magnificent, but there are a lot of people who cannot stand it.''

Built in red brick, it overlooks the renowned sand dunes where David Lean filmed much of Lawrence of Arabia, and dominates the main road from Ogmore-by-Sea to Bridgend.

The new owner, Mr Devine of Griffin Windows in Treorchy, bought the house and its 20-acre garden to retire in.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 20, 2003
Words:265
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