COD Army and chips anyone? Crocked footballer Richie Allen is determined to serve up a few tasty treats after deciding to launch his own restaurant.
The 27-year-old Fleetwood Town forward, who suffered a broken leg just days into January, has ploughed in £34,000 to transform an empty former cafe into his dream restaurant with business partner Elizabeth Knox.
Sticky Chops will see Richie turn his love of food into a project while he undergoes intensive physiotherapy to return to the pitch.
Richie said: “I was playing on loan for AFC Fylde when a guy came and just wiped me out.
“It happened six weeks ago and I am still on painkillers. It is a bad break.”
He added: “I have always liked cooking and when I broke my leg I started saving up some money.
“The restaurant will specialise in chicken, ribs and skewers.
“This is the food I like. We do all the meat on the grill, it’s not fried.
“We also do a platter of chips with rustic chips, sweet potato chips and fries. It’s good food.”
The restaurant, which opened two weeks ago and is open from 11am to 7pm, is on the corner of Miller Arcade and Jacson Street in Preston, barely a mile from his home on New Hall Lane.
To go with Richie’s love of football they also plan to offer food while showing matches.
He said: “We are realistic and know people aren’t going to just walk through the door but when people come and taste the 8oz burger, we know they will come back. It is the first time I have ever done something like this and we hope it will go really well.”
His dad Leroy, a radio presenter, said: “A lot of footballers make a few pounds and spend it on nothing.
“He has always wanted to do something like this so I said why not, at least he will have something to come back to.”