Pies, beers and chocolate bars. Anything goes when considering a half-time snack, to purr over the games current events. All this will sound all too familiar, with football fans across the country that embark on a weekly pilgrimage, to football stadiums up and down the country. The formula, however, hasn’t only been modified but in the case of Forest Green, wholesale changes have been made.
In November 2015, Forest Green Rovers – who ply their trade in the Vanarama National League, – became the first club in world football to evolve into a Vegan club. The club replaced the universal meat pies and burgers on offer, initially replacing the aforementioned with Vegetarian food and Fish. This wasn’t enough.
The club ceased all sales of Fish on match-day, similarly ceasing use of Cow’s milk. Even the typical alcoholic beverages, such as Beer and Cider have witnessed wholesale changes at the New Lawn stadium, also becoming vegan. The menu change at the club has seen club partners such as Quorn, take on an increased level of importance than usual producing Q-pies created with special ingredients. The newly renovated menu now available most weekends includes a wide range of options. Veggie burgers, Mexican fajitas, sweet potato burgers and pizza are among a number of healthy foods available to the average supporter.
The club has overseen stark changes over the past decade, as part of owner and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince’s environmental vision. The fans have embraced the eco-friendly vision introduced by the owner. In addition to the club becoming meat-free, then Vegan, they also supplied their playing staff with electric cars even making the playing surface at the new lawn organic.
Forest Green Rovers Chairman, Dale Vince, said:
‘As a football club, we stopped serving meat to our players, fans and staff about four seasons ago. We’ve been on a mission since then to introduce our fans to this new world. When you drop the meat and two veg approach, a whole new world of food options opens up.’
‘The gap between vegetarian and vegan food is actually quite small; it’s a step rather than a leap to take. A lot of our food has been vegan for some time now, and this season we’ve taken the last small step.’
With the food menu on offer at the club having taken on a new lease of life, it is hoped the club can embark on a future of success aided by a Vegan drive.
By Zakaria Abraham