Twins Amar and Arjun Singh Purewal made history on Monday as the first British South Asian brothers to line up against each other under the arch in a Wembley Cup final.
The Sunderland Sikh-Punjabis have spent much of their careers playing together at different clubs across the North East of England, but were on opposing sides as Consett AFC took on Hebburn Town in last season’s rescheduled FA Vase final.
Sky Sports News exclusively revealed last week that the brothers were set to make Wembley history, and it was a moment to savour for the Purewal family with centre-back Arjun leading his side out at the home of English football as Consett captain.
Consett took a deserved 18th-minute lead through Ali Alshabeeb before an unforgettable moment for Amar, who calmly slotted home an equaliser for the Hornets. Arjun was seen slapping the pitch in frustration after seeing his twin brother score.
Hebburn went 2-1 down, but levelled a few minutes shy of half-time before Oliver Martin completed the comeback with a dramatic 83rd-minute winner for the South Tyneside club.
Amar and Arjun were dubbed the ‘Punjabi Pride of the North East’ when they first made history as teenagers back in 2008 after becoming the first twins ever to score in the same FA Cup tie, netting for Bishop Auckland in a 3-2 Extra Preliminary Round win over Darlington RA.
Their cup heroics this time around cap a remarkable month for the South Asians in football movement in this country, with Sky Sports News leading the coverage.
Last week, we revealed Sporting Khalsa were set to earn promotion to Step 4 of non-League, meaning subject to ratification, the West Midlands side will become the first club borne out of the South Asian community to play in the eighth tier of the modern-day pyramid.
The news came after Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury was serialised in a comic book about his identity, upbringing and Bangladeshi-Grenadian heritage, as well as his faith.
A day earlier, Gareth Southgate met with fans group Apna England, the first time a serving England boss has sat down and directly engaged with a South Asian-led Three Lions supporters’ group.
Bournemouth full-back Dinesh Gillela last week captained the Cherries’ U21 side to Central League Cup success, and Arjan Raikhy notched two assists in a 6-1 win over Newcastle to help Aston Villa into the last four of the FA Youth Cup.
Fellow British-Punjabi footballer Dilan Markanday was also in fine form, rounding off the scoring for Spurs’ U23 side in a 4-1 win over Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Manchester United starlet, Zidane Iqbal, fresh from penning his first professional contract, has picked up where he left off after a brief lay-off, scoring three goals in his last two U18 games, including a wonderful solo effort against Wolves.
Sky Sports News also revealed Birmingham Women academy prospect Layla Banaras was launching a campaign to better prepare Muslim athletes for fasting during Ramadan. Banaras, 15, who trains four times a week, worked with Birmingham City and club nutritionist Isobel Chotham to produce a Ramadan nutrition guide and meal planner.
Official Birmingham City supporters’ group Blues 4 All last month worked directly with the club to mark the festival of Vaisakhi, with the Punjabi Rams fans group doing the same with fellow Sky Bet Championship side Derby County.
Sky Sports News also exclusively revealed Bhups and Sunny Singh Gill were to become the first British South Asian match officials ever to preside over the same Championship game, with the pair making history at Ashton Gate when Bristol City hosted Nottingham Forest.
British South Asians in Football
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