Ex-Toffee Neil Robinson turns to snack bars

PUBLISHED: 11:51 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:22 05 April 2013

Neil holding the Frank bars Photo: Liverpool Echo

Neil holding the Frank bars Photo: Liverpool Echo

A former Everton footballer has turned his attention to a new range of vegetarian 'guilt free' snack bars. WORDS BY ROB SAWYER

Cast your mind back to the 1970s and if youre a football fan the name of Neil Robinson will be familiar.

Liverpool-born Neil played for his boyhood heroes Everton in the 1970s before enjoying spells at Swansea City, Grimsby Town and Darlington FC.
At that time Neil was the only vegan footballer plying his trade in English professional football: the former Blackburn striker has more recently gained attention for adopting a vegan diet to improve his fitness.

I was 13 when I became vegetarian and I stopped eating dairy products to become a vegan in 1980 whilst at Swansea. Everton used to tell me Id be stronger if I ate a nice bit of steak but I declined. Plant-based foods are a great source of energy - meat isnt so I was always one of the fittest at my clubs.

Now Neil, who lives in Widnes, Cheshire, finds himself as a snack bar entrepreneur, and quite by accident.

He explains: A couple of years ago I started to make vegan snack bars at home for family days out. I jokingly named them Ali-Kat
bars after my daughters Alison and Kathryn. My brother suggested that we produce some as a bit of a cottage industry,

so he put me in touch with a manufacturer and it just developed from there. The re-christened Frank bars are made from oats and dried fruit with a coconut cream chocolate topping. Theyre available in five flavours and are low fat, dairy free, gluten-free and vegan best of all they really do taste great.

A sample production run is being distributed through several Liverpool stores (Mattas International Foods, Taits and The Interesting Eating Company) with more outlets to be added soon.

Visit www.thefrankfoodcompany.com for more information.

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