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GNev: I’ve been going to Old Trafford since I was four

Gary Neville has given a food related interview to The Guardian, after the recent opening of his restaurant, Cafe Football in Westfield Stratford City.

“I first persuaded my dad to take me to Old Trafford with him when I was four,” he said. “We’d leave Bury around 11am, then have pie and chips at Marina’s Grill – a traditional northern cafe near the ground. We’d be in K- Stand around 1pm, for a 3pm kickoff. Dad would be off having pints with his mates but I enjoyed sitting on my own.”

Neville also reflected on how the food footballers eat changed during his time in the game.

“I remember the days of chicken, mash and beans for our pre-match meal,” he said. “Then the nutritionist Trevor moved in and everything changed overnight – what we ate, when we ate, how much we ate, how we ate – chewing 15 to 20 times. My food routine was strictly replicated whether a match was in Southampton or Ukraine. The day before a game – cereal and orange juice at 8am; fish, potato and veg at noon, on long canteen table, Wagamama-style; cereal and toast at 3.30pm; pasta with soup at 7pm; strictly no prawns and shellfish; lights out at 9.15pm. Day of game – cereal and orange juice at 8am; then spaghetti with sauce, yoghurt and Ribena at the ground at noon. Potentially mashed potato. The other players liked to tease me about travelling with my own bowl, spoon and Weetabix. I didn’t eat Weetabix as a child; I didn’t really like any cereals. But as a professional footballer, Weetabix became my thing. Jaffa cakes were also important. They keep you going. There’s one gram of fat in each jaffa cake so three or four was a good snack.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. The One says:

    A true legend!!

  2. m09538061 says:

    Gary Neville is a Red, is a Red
    Gary Neville is a Red, is a Red
    He hates Scousers!

  3. Tommy says:

    A proper red legend, red to the core thaat lad, He was never the most talented but he simply wanted it more than anyone else, a credit to his profession

  4. I dont like Welbeck says:

    Man Utd boss David Moyes by his former performance psychologist Michael Finnigan

    a view about the gaffer

  5. Martin Thomas says:

    Gary’s comments about his early Old Trafford days take me back… From New Moston we’d get the train to Warwick Road. We’d go to the chippy, watch all the fans and the coppers on horseback (and the man with the ‘End Is Nigh’ sign! I remember a gobby Arsenal fan having a go at him, so he got his placard and he hit the Arsenal fan over the head with it!) before we went into the ground. It was likea ritual for us, and one I still miss (it isn’t the same now)…

    One memory is seeing all the Italians for the Juventus game at OT in 76. Most reds called the Juve supporters ‘Poofters’ but we were fascinated by their look and the stuff they wore. I suppose that was the birth of the casual look for English football fans…

  6. Gazzer says:

    Yeah, there’s a lesson there for all our pampered youngsters.
    We don’t need you to be like Cristiano, we’d be thrilled if you were like GaryNev.
    I like Weetabix too!

  7. Little Red Ant says:

    Those were the days. Early arrival at OT was always guaranteed (usually by noon) then straight down to the Salisbury pub, then before the game back up to try and get some chips near the D&P. Followed by pint and pie at half time!!
    I’m glad Jaffa cakes are great for a snack – I’ve been saying that for years!!

  8. Martin Thomas says:

    I miss the old Dog and Partridge…


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