Make Northern Irish Squad Go Vegan to Get Edge Over Ukraine, Says Former Professional Player

For Immediate Release:

15 June 2016


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


PETA Offers Plant-Based Catering to Help Lead Team to Victory

Belfast – Following Northern Ireland’s disappointing loss to Poland on Sunday, former professional footballer Neil Robinson has written to the team’s manager, Michael O’Neill, to suggest that he increase Northern Ireland’s chance of future success in the European Championship by putting the team on a vegan diet. The group PETA has also offered to support the effort by providing the team with vegan catering to help the players make the healthy switch.

“As a former professional footballer who was vegan the last 10 years of my career, I can attest to the fact that a plant-based diet provides athletes with all the protein, complex carbohydrates and other nutrients that they need to be strong and fast”, writes Robinson. “Plant foods also provide athletes with stamina – an important attribute considering that footballers need to perform continually throughout 90-minute matches. …

Eating plant-based foods has been shown to improve blood and oxygen flow, helping repair torn muscles and tendons for faster recovery from training and injuries. And a vegan diet can help protect against heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer. In addition to keeping players lean, footballers can also lighten their conscience by giving meat the boot. In today’s industrialised meat industry, chickens, pigs, turkeys and cows are crammed into filthy windowless sheds and wire cages, where they live and die in misery.

Former England international footballer Phil Neville recently teamed up with PETA to promote a meat-free diet. In an exclusive video interview, he says that after going vegetarian, “I started to feel healthier, leaner. I started to feel great”. A growing number of top athletes have removed animal-derived foods from their diets, including boxer David Haye, tennis player Novak Djokovic, Olympic cyclist Lizzie Armitstead, world champion squash player James Willstrop and ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll.

Robinson’s letter to Michael O’Neill is available here. For more information on how to go vegan please visit