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Ex-Everton player, the world's first vegan top-flight footballer
Neil Robinson is a legend - not only did he play for one of the world's greatest football teams Everton FC in the 70's (sharing a dressing room with the holy trinity of Kendall, Ball and Harvey, quite possibly the greatest club midfield ever to grace the top flight), but also even more incredible is the fact that Neil was the first ever footballer in the top flight (possibly even throughout the whole of planet Earth) to adopt a vegan diet - which he did in 1980.
The youngest of a family of seven (5 brothers, 1 sister), Neil was born in Walton, Liverpool, in a house in Spellow Lane which was quite literally just a stone's throw from Goodison Park, the home of Everton FC, and Neil holds the distinction in Everton's history books as the player born closest to the club stadium.
At age 13 in 1970, Neil became vegetarian for ethical reasons. At age 17, he signed as a professional footballer for his beloved team Everton FC.
In 1980, Neil extended his moral standing against animal cruelty by becoming a vegan.
Neil played and trained on a vegan diet for a number of years, and was the first player to demonstrate that a vegan diet could be actually an aid to being a professional football player at the top level - he was always one of the fittest at all his clubs.
Neil retired from professional football in 1990 and was a vegetarian/vegan throughout his entire professional playing career. On retirement from football, Neil had several jobs including owning his own fitness centre and working as a personal fitness trainer.
Today, Neil is still passionate about veganism and promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle for everybody on the planet. He worked for The Frank Food Company which recently launched a cereal snack and energy bar to Neil's own specific formulation.
Check out this interview with Neil by vegan blog 'All about Vegan Food' too - http://allaboutveganfood.com/2013/10/neil-robinson-taking-veganism-to-the-football-fields.html
Neil Robinson alongside Tim Barford at VegfestUK Bristol 2013
Neil Robinson - Banana Man! Neil went vegan in 1980, just after joining Swansea City
Neil in the classic 1978 Everton FC line - up, including the great Bob Latchford, the finest centre forward of his era. Also in the picture, Everton legend Andy King who scored a cracking goal to beat Liverpool 1- 0 in the 1978 Derby game
Neil tackles Kenny Dalglish, a Liverpool legend as a player, and takes the ball from him in style
Neil on the front of the Everton match day programme, alongside Dave Jones, currently manager at Sheffield Wednesday
Neil moves in to take the ball off QPR and England midfield maestro and current Sky TV pundit Gerry Francis.