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.”