SOUTHEND United will be facing the world’s fest vegan football club at Roots Hall tonight.

Forest Green Rovers were formed back in 1889 but in more recent times they have hit the headlines off the field for their unique approach/ And in 2017 they received the Vegan Trademark from the Vegan Society.

A club statement explained: “That might all sound a little strange to fans used to burgers and chips at games – but since we replaced red meat and stodgy snacks with freshly made veggie burgers, vegan fajitas, and a revolving menu of locally-sourced vegan dishes, we’ve made a big impact on fans, players and even other clubs.

“We’ve reached an audience of almost two billion people since we officially became a vegan club, getting the message about sustainable vegan food out there in a big way. “ And Forest Green opted to make the change for the benefit of the environment.

“FGR became the world’s first vegan football club because of the huge environmental and animal welfare impacts of livestock farming, as well as to improve player performance and give fans healthier, tastier food on matchdays,” the statement added.

“Living on a plant-based diet instead of animals is one of the biggest things you can do to cut your impact on the planet.

“Livestock produces just 18 per cent of food calories and 37 per cent of protein, but it takes up more than 80 per cent of farmland.

“We need to change that.”

Forest Green also boast solar panels and electric vehicle charging points at their New Lawn ground as they strive to be the ‘greenest football club in the world. ‘ Rovers are also looking to move to a new ground, Eco Park, which would be made out of just wood.

Their manager Mark Cooper also had a loan spell with Blues back in 1990, making five appearances.