Rovers Academy star Lirak Hasani was invited to attend a reception at the Houses of Parliament to mark the visit of the Kosovan Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
With England due to play Kosovo twice in qualifying matches for the European Championship, it was decided that the theme of the reception would be football with players from across the country in attendance.
Other attendees included Rio Ferdinand and former Rovers player Brian Deane who famously netted the first Premier League goal in 1992. Deane now works with the Kosovan city of Ferizaj to improve their sporting facilities.
In the late 1990s, war broke out between Serbia and Kosovo following the breakup of Yugoslavia. Many British troops were deployed in Kosovo to protect the ethnically Albanian population after a series of massacres.
John Grogan MP for Keighley who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Kosovo Group said: “Lirak’s Dad and Mum came to Doncaster while the war was raging before their son was born and knowing nobody. Many Albanian Kosovars came to London but there were very few who were settled in Yorkshire.
“Lirak and his two sisters are a great credit to the hard work of their parents. He told me that he was both a proud Yorkshireman and also proud of his Kosovan roots.”
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