Sibling rivalry: The current Football League families

Laura Jones takes a look at some of the brothers and sisters competing in football.

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At the weekend the mother of Ben and Jak Alnwick had her loyalty divided as her sons played each other in League One. Ben played in goal for Peterborough United and Jak, also a keeper, played for Port Vale.

Before the game Jak told the media that their mum wouldn’t be attending the game because she gets too nervous. He said: “She’ll have a heart attack with both of us on the same pitch.”

Her boys had a busy game too with Jak facing a penalty and older brother Ben facing two, one of which he saved to earn Posh a point.

There is a tradition of brother’s competing with and against each other in the leagues. From the Charlton brothers to the Toures, a bit of sibling rivalry doesn’t hurt. There was a time recently where you couldn’t play a league fixture without a Sodje brother popping up on the team sheet.

The Alnwick brothers are not the only siblings currently competing. Here are a few more.

Michael Dawson (Hull City)/Andy Dawson (Scunthorpe United)/Kevin Dawson (Stocksbridge Park Steels)

Much like the Von Trapp children, the Dawsons are collectively good a one thing . . . defending. I’ve heard Liesl Von Trapp once had a trial as a right-back for Colchester. The Dawsons have all played at a high level of football with varying degrees of success. The eldest Andy is currently player/coach at Scunthorpe United, having played at Nottingham Forest and Hull City.

Middle child Kevin also played for Forest and Chesterfield but has plied his trade mainly at non-league level. Kevin is currently at Stocksbridge Park Steels in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

The most successful of the brothers is Michael, who, after also starting his career at Forest, transferred to Spurs for a fee of around £8 million. Michael is currently playing in the Championship for Hull City.

Eniola Aluko (Chelsea Ladies)/Sone Aluko (Hull City)

It’s highly unlikely that these two will ever meet in a competitive match unless some tennis-style Battle of the Sexes game is arranged but it’s also unusual that the sister is the more prominent figure in football. Eni, born in Nigeria, chose to play for England and Sone born in England played through the ranks of the England Unders but opted to play for Nigeria.

It’s worth reading Anna Kessel’s interview with the pair in 2014 to see how supportive and analytical they are of each other’s game.

Eni is currently a champion at Chelsea Ladies and Sone is a striker for Hull City. Sone has scored once this season against Fulham.

Jack Hobbs (Nottingham Forest)/Nicola Hobbs (Doncaster Belles)

Nicola has much to celebrate this season after helping Donny Belles get promoted into the FA Women’s Super League. Although they couldn’t edge Reading out as champions, Nicola played her part in getting the Belles back to the top division after their controversial demotion in 2013.

Whilst younger brother Jack, a former Liverpool player, is earning his money as a defender at Nottingham Forest, Nicola has recently trained to become a firefighter in Rotherham. In the week she saves lives and the weekend she saves goals.

Nicola told the local press that she needed a career to back up her “hobby” of football. It is stark reminder that not all siblings are equal when it comes to football, whether it’s because of their ability or even their gender.

Read more from Laura Jones here

Follow Laura at @YICETOR

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