Footballer opens own restaurant

Photo Neil Cross'Sticky Chops, Miller Arcade, Preston'Head chef Daniel McGuire
Photo Neil Cross'Sticky Chops, Miller Arcade, Preston'Head chef Daniel McGuire
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He was after a break, but not one of this kind...

When Preston-born footballer Richie Allen broke his leg during a nasty tackle, he decided he would make the most of a bad situation.

AFC Fylde v Clitheroe.  Pictured is Richie Allen.

AFC Fylde v Clitheroe. Pictured is Richie Allen.

With a bit more time on his hands, the 27-year-old Fleetwood Town striker has decided to take the plunge and open his own restaurant.

Sticky Chops, on the corner of Miller Arcade and Jacson Street, will see Richie turn his love of food into a project while he undergoes intensive physiotherapy to return to the sport.

The break in his leg was so severe that he was warned by doctors he may need pins to keep it in place.

Richie, who lives in the New Hall Lane area of Preston, 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.”

Spurred on by his supportive family, Richie decided to invest £34,000 to transform the empty former cafe into his dream restaurant with business partner Elizabeth Knox - but on doctors orders to keep his feet up.

His dad Leroy, a radio presenter, said: “He has always liked cooking and when he broke his leg he started saving up some money.

“The restaurant will specialise in chicken, ribs and skewers and there is a burger that we say is the best burger in Preston.

“This is the food he likes. It’s the type of stuff footballers eat. 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.”

Richie, who is still under an 18-month contract with Fleetwood Town, has been on crutches for six weeks and hopes to be off them in a fortnight.

He is undergoing intensive treatment at the club which includes physiotherapy most days.

The restaurant opened two weeks ago and is open from 11am to 7pm. They also do student deals.

To go with Richie’s love of football they also plan to offer food while showing matches.

Leroy said: “It has been going really well so far.

“We are realistic and know people aren’t going to just walk through the door, it all builds with word of mouth, but when people come and taste the 8oz burger, we know they will come back.

“It is the first time he has ever done something like this and we hope it will go really well. 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.”