A Burnley-born striker has created history after signing a professional contract with Pakistan Premier League champions K-Electric.
Jon Ashworth, who hails from Harle Syke, will be the first English player to feature in the country’s South Asian structure.
The 24-year-old, a former Everton youth player, had been representing Darwen in the North West Counties Premier Division before he was snapped up by new Karachi head coach Majid Shafiq, who lives in Cliviger.
The pair teamed up with the squad last month ahead of the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup in Bangladesh where teams from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka were also involved.
After failing to qualify from Group B, which included eventual tournament winners Chittagong Abahani and runners-up East Bengal FC, a club spokesman said: “It is a commendable achievement by Majid who has fulfilled his ambition of moving football forwad in Pakistan, and he has created history within weeks of taking up the post of head coach.
“After attending the Bangladesh tour, Jon will follow on to play in the Pakistan Premier League. He is the first ever white Caucasian player to play for a professional club in Pakistan and will make a huge impact. At 6ft 2in, the striker has lightning speed and power and is a technical two-footed striker – an ideal fit to play in the Asian Champions competitions and progress further.”
K-Electric director Zabe Khan added: “KE is looking into tapping into UK talent in order to take the club to the next level as the coaches and players in UK are far superior to the coaches we have in Pakistan. With Jon coming in, it will take us to another level.”