A teenager with Sikh-Punjabi heritage has made sporting history to become the first South Asian player ever to be selected for the first team at Birmingham City FC

Brandon Khela, aged 18, took part in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup game against Cheltenham Town which the Blues won 2-0.

Khela, who is a naturally gifted midfielder, has already played for England at youth level and said he was “proud and honoured” to represent Birmingham City FC (BCFC) during South Asian Heritage Month.

The teenager hopes the historic milestone of a South Asian footballer playing for the first team at BCFC will inspire other South Asian youngsters – both male and female – to take up the sport.

Punjabi teenager Brandon Khela began playing football at the tender age of threeTwitter
Punjabi teenager Brandon Khela began playing football at the tender age of three

Speaking after the victorious BCFC match on Tuesday (8 August) against Cheltenham Town, Khela said: “I’m buzzing, I’m over the moon. It was a really proud moment for me and my family.

“I’m just happy we won the game as well.

“It was a great night.”

The South Asian teenager says he's honoured to be part of the Blues squadTwitter
The South Asian teenager says he’s “proud and honoured” to be part of the Blues squad

The Sikh-Punjabi teenager, a former Arden Academy pupil, has been playing football since the tender age of six, according to his family.

The young player has been with the Blues since 2014 and played for the club at every age-group side. His matches with BCFC youth teams has seen Khela play games in the USA and Norway.

Khela made history when he became the first South Asian to sign a professional contract with the Blues just over a year ago. The passionate young footballer played for BCFC Under-23’s last season.

Sikh-Punjabi teenager Brandon Khela has signed a contract with Birmingham City FCTwitter
Sikh-Punjabi teenager Brandon Khela has signed a professional contract with Birmingham City FC

Micky Singh, the chairman for Blues 4 All, hailed Khela’s signing as a “landmark” moment: “This is huge. It’s a landmark moment for all Birmingham City fans, particularly those from a South Asian heritage background.

“I’ve supported Blues for over 60 years and have waited a very long time to see a South Asian kid wear the Royal Blue shirt.

“And from a representation perspective, watching him perform on the pitch will give hope to many aspiring youngsters that want to follow the path into professional football.”

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