The club beat Tranmere Rovers 3-1 last weekend to secure their future despite playing most of their games in a tiny stadium with a 5,140 people capacity (just shy of the entire population of Nailworth – the nearest town).
The team is funded by Dale Vince, a self confessed eco warrior and multi millionaire founder of Ecotricity. When Mr Vince invested in the club 7 years ago, it was on the brink of liquidation. Over the several years that he has been at the helm, Mr Vince has introduced veganism to the players, the staff and even some of the fans. All of the food served at the stadium is vegan. In fact, the stadium itself is pretty vegan: the players train under solar powered flood lights and play games on organic turf.
The stadium, however, is looking on the decrepit side and with the press attention and bigger league football, the club expects their success to pique the interest of new fans. The plan is to move to a new stadium made of wood and called Eco Park which Mr Vince has said will be the “greenest stadium in the world”
The team is not the only sporting success story for the vegan world. Renowned England striker Jermain Defoe has spoken about his change to a vegan diet, claiming that this has had a huge impact on his recent goal scoring form. Indeed, his recent recall for the England squad and subsequent goals would support his conjecture.
It seems that the sporting world is waking up to the health benefits of a vegan diet. And the fans don’t seem to be complaining either: Forest Green’s Q pie – a Quorn and leek pie made with soya milk bechamel – won an award at the British Pie awards this year. Not too shabby.