Forest Green Rovers: vegan club complete first Football League season

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VEGAN professional football team, Forest Green Rovers, ended their first ever Football League (EFL) season with a home match against Grimsby Town.

Based in Stroud, Gloucestershire, the club were playing in the regional leagues until as late as 1998 before their rise up the ranks.

They ended the EFL League Two 2017-2018 campaign in 21st place, the highest finish in their history, despite losing their final match 3-0 in the May sunshine.

Their exploits on the pitch deserve recognition, but it is their vegan food which has grabbed the headlines.

The appointment of Dale Vince, CEO of green energy supplier, Ecotricity, as chairman in 2010 began Rovers’ culinary revolution.

Red meat was off the menu by October that year before the club became vegan in June, 2014.

Instead of beef, supporters can now enjoy a spicy bean burger and there are also vegan pies available to purchase.

Onion bhaji wraps and falafels are on offer as well among other veggie snacks.

Jackie Gulvin, a first-time visitor to the New Lawn, said: “It’s the best burger I’ve ever had, vegetarian or otherwise.

“It’s like a breath of fresh air… and shows things can be done a bit differently.”

After surviving their first Football League season, and winning over neutrals in the process, the vegan experiment seems to have paid off.

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