Forest Green Rovers are minnows compared to the giants of the English Premier League, but the tiny English club has its own unique distinction: it’s the world’s first vegan soccer club.
With investment from owner and self-styled hippy Dale Vince, who made his fortune in wind power, the aptly-named club has won promotion to the professional leagues for the first time and transformed itself into the greenest soccer club in the world.
The “Green Devils” use only solar or wind power; play on an organic pitch which grows using recycled rainwater; offer free electric car charging for fans, and have even unveiled plans for a pioneering carbon neutral stadium made entirely of wood.
They’ve also swapped classic soccer fodder of meat pies and pints for soya milk and an entirely vegan menu, while players feast on high energy vegan meals curated by a club chef.
“We’ve got fan clubs springing up all around the world. It is quite incredible,” Vince told VICE News. “These people are not necessarily football fans. But they’re people who are concerned about the environment, and they’re adopting us because of what we stand for off the pitch.”
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