The latest edition of South Asians in Football Weekly is out after another top week for the community in the Beautiful Game…

Mariam Mahmood was back on the scoresheet as West Brom thrashed Lye Town to progress to the second round of the Women’s FA Cup.

West Brom came from behind twice against Lye Town as 19-year-old forward Mahmood demonstrating why she earned a place in last term’s first-of-its-kind Team of the Season by giving West Brom a 3-2 lead, with a sublime finish.

Simran Jhamat continued her red-hot form by scoring with a stunning lob as West Brom eventually ran out 8-2 winners, setting up a home tie with Needham Town in the second round on November 26.

Millie Chandarana was on song as she helped Blackburn Rovers beat previously undefeated Sunderland in the Barclays Women’s Championship.

Chandarana contributed the all-important assist with a delicious deep cross from the right-hand side, which was eventually put in by on-loan Brighton striker Chelsea Ferguson for her first goal in a Rovers shirt.

Team of the Season

The 1-0 win for Rovers takes them within six points of the summit, with Reading the visitors at the weekend.

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Luton-based coach Trishan Patel has landed a role working with the Pakistan National Team.

Former India head coach Stephen Constantine took charge of Pakistan for their historic FIFA World Cup first-round qualifying win over Cambodia last month, and the Londoner has returned to the helm for the second-round group stages.

Constantine has now brought in UEFA A Licence coach and former Berkhamsted Town assistant manager Patel as a performance analyst.

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Trishan Patel has a bright future in the game, England and Luton Town legend Ricky Hill said.

Back in 2021, Patel was praised by Luton Town legend Ricky Hill, who Sky Sports News revealed was the first South Asian heritage player to play for England.

“He loves the game, he’s very articulate, very organised and has done great work within schools in terms of mentoring, not just coaching,” Hill told Sky Sports News.

“I think he is one of those I would look to for the future in terms of infiltrating the system, as I would say, and getting into a professional environment. He can go from strength-to-strength.”

Pakistan won a World Cup qualifier for the first time in their history – and at the 34th attempt – when they beat Cambodia 1-0 on aggregate last month, with former QPR youngster Harun Hamid etching his name into folklore with the all-important winner in the second leg.

Hamid returns to the squad for their qualifying double-header against Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan, alongside Grimsby Town midfielder Otis Khan, who has received international clearance from FIFA.

Rahis Nabi has also now joined up with the national team after scoring for Greek side Digenis in a 3-0 win against Omonia at the weekend.

Imran Kayani, who opened up exclusively to Sky Sports News earlier this year about his dream to play for Pakistan, is also in the squad.

But Pakistan captain Easah Suliman misses out after the Aston Villa academy graduate picked up a knee injury while on club duty.

‘We’re not just around now – we’ve been around for years’

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Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari thinks it would be ‘fantastic’ to award Asian-heritage football trailblazer an honorary cap in recognition of the nine wartime games he played for England. Soo was also English football’s first East Asian player.

Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari has described legendary England wartime international Frank Soo as an “icon” adding it would be “fantastic” to see his family awarded an honorary cap in recognition of his achievements in the game.

Sky Sports News exclusively revealed that Soo was going to join the likes of Sir Stanley Matthews and darts legend Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor in the Stoke-on-Trent Hall of Fame. Soo is a former team-mate and captain of Matthews and made more than 250 appearances for Stoke City in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Frank Soo Foundation chair Alan Lau, Sky Sports News' Dev Trehan, Frank Soo's great niece Jacqui Soo and the brother of Susan Gardiner who authored The Wanderer: The Story of Frank Soo - at Stoke Civic Centre for Frank's appointment to the SportingHall of Fame
Frank Soo Foundation chair Alan Lau, Sky Sports’ Dev Trehan, Frank Soo’s great niece Jacqui, and the brother of Susan Gardiner, author of The Wanderer: The Story of Frank Soo, at Stoke Civic Centre for Frank’s appointment to the Sporting Hall of Fame

Soo was also the first Asian to pull on an England shirt, playing nine wartime matches, but he did not receive an international cap because those fixtures are treated by the Football Association as unofficial matches.

Frank’s niece, Jacqui Soo, the Frank Soo Foundation and the Jack Leslie campaign have all told Sky Sports News that it is long overdue for Soo to be recognised on a national level.

2nd February 1936: Luton Town Football Club's half back, Frank Soo.
East Asian-heritage football trailblazer Frank Soo played for Stoke, Leicester and Luton

Kick It Out chair Bhandari thinks it is a fabulous idea.

“It’s really important to celebrate these icons from our history and Frank Soo is one of those icons.

The Frank Soo Foundation are joined by the Football Association, Sky Sports News and the Football Supporters' Association at Frank Soo Street at the site of Stoke City's Victoria Ground former stadium
The Frank Soo Foundation are joined by the Football Association, Sky Sports News and the Football Supporters’ Association at Frank Soo Street at the site of Stoke City’s Victoria Ground former stadium

“The barriers that someone like that must have overcome to be succesful in the game. That in itself is huge and should be celebrated.

“It’s part of a broader trend we’re seeing of players who have played many, many years ago now being celebrated. We’ve seen it with Plymouth Argyle and Jack Leslie, and it sends a really important message to people today that we’re not just around now – we’ve been around for years.

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Jack Leslie, the first black footballer to receive an England call-up, has been honoured with a statue outside Plymouth Argyle’s stadium Home Park.

“It would be fantastic [for Frank Soo to be awarded an honorary England cap]. I happened to be at Wembley for the Ukraine game where Jack Leslie’s honorary England cap was given, and it means an enormous amount to the family and also to the clubs as a recognition for them as well.”

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