Inspired by Away Days special guest Harry Holland and a short lived romance with big Z the big V.
After having a bit of banter with Jake and Harry throughout the week leading up to our Away Days special in the fine town of Accrington I decided to see how tough life actually is for vegans, and with the cornerstone of any healthy and happy life being a day out on the beer I challenged myself to consume no meat products from dawn till dusk. The obvious concerns were regarding not having enough stodge to keep me from getting too wasted too early.
I was honestly buzzing for this: I’m a big fan of avocados and they are to the vegan community what Jesus is to the Christian Church, big in the V game are avos. I smashed it up the night before with some chilli flakes, salt and lime juice and spread it over some wholemeal bread, served up with some pan roasted cherry tomatoes on the side it was a tasty and very filling breakfast. Black Coffee to drink.
Jake Doyle and Harry Holland joined me on a packed out train (40% travelling Charlton fans) on the way to Accrington. Jake had kindly brought me a can of Carlsberg to sup on, Carlsberg is vegan, as are most but not all lagers.
We arrive in the Accrington, it’s a dead town, probably due to the recession, Tories and being too close to Manchester and Liverpool for anyone to shop there. It does have some pretty decent pubs though, all proper boozers. The Railway was first up which we piled into with the Addicks who had the same plan to go to in the first pub in sight.
This is where I made my first mistake.
Fosters isn’t vegan due to the existance of “beef collagen filings” in the recipe, in fairness it was Jake’s fault as he got me a Fosters on his round when I asked for a Carling, proofs in the podcast.
On to Spoons, if you’re in a town you’ve never been to and will probably never be in again you have to check out the Spoons don’t you? The Commercial Hotel in Accrington is a former lodgings turned Wetherspoons with a pretty decent beer garden where another portion of “Addicks” had settled for pre’s and a bite to eat. Two pints of vegan and session friendly Bud-Light were sunk here before we stomped up to The Crown Ground. The initial plan was to get a bowl of chips here, but I was honestly still satisfied from the hefty breakfast.
Half time refreshments
We reach the half way point in a classic league one affair, its 1-0 to Charlton but it’s far from over. We join the snack queue, options loom over the bar that neither appear vegan or veggie friendly, meat pies, sausage rolls (come on Stanley give us a goal), no vegan alternatives for the half time classics so I settle for a packet of Salt and Vinegar crisps, fine by me because I love crisps almost as much as Gary Lineker.
I wash it down with a chilled plastic bottle of Carlsberg from one of the suprisingly effecient and well priced bottle bars dotted around the concourse. During half time I boast “being a vegan on a sesh is fuck easy”.
Post-game drinks and Tesco snacks
A good game ends 1-1, we saw an Accrington goal scored in the home end so couldn’t complain and a draw seemed the right result. On the way back to the station we stopped at the Grey Horse and The Castle, both decent little pubs where I enjoyed a couple of Carlings. I also had a tactical pack of Ready Salted Nobby’s Nuts to keep me going until we got to Tesco before leaving for Bradford.
At Tesco I was hoping for a vegan wrap that I’d scouted online beforehand, but there was not one item of the “Wicked” vegan range in sight. I did okay though, finding a vegetable samosa as big as my head, some falafel with houmous and a big bag of Graze sriracha corn snacks, more than enough to accompany the train journey (along with four tins of Carling) back to West Yorkshire.
That Tesco haul was the last thing I ate that day, we went to Bradford and it was liquid from there till the early hours. All in all I now have even more respect for Vegans, as anyone should all be able to go out on an away day and not be restricted to bar snacks and big samosas, you would think a bean burger would’nt be too much of a stretch for any respected football club.
I’ve never felt that guilty about eating meat but I completely understand opposing arguments and now that so many decent alternatives exist, going vegan or at least veggie for a day is something I would definitely do again.