Tonight sees the culmination of the EFL Championships first weekend of fixtures when Derby County travel to relegated Huddersfield Town for Sky TV’s live Monday Night Football. Tonight’s game has an added rivalry, this time of the desi kind!
Laina Jalota, eight, will be the mascot for Huddersfield Town. However, her cousin Jaya Talwar, 10, will be a mascot for Derby. It’s not the first time the Jalota-Talwar family football rivalry has seen cousins take on opposing mascots.
Laina’s brothers Keshan and Ketan were mascots for Huddersfield when they played the Rams in September 2012.
But their cousin Kian was the mascot for Derby. According to Laina’s dad Rocky, the rivalry began when his sister Reena, originally from Crosland Hill, married an avid Derby fan. The Jalotas, of Golcar, will meet the Talwars, who live in Derby, when Town take on the Rams.
Rocky says there’s definitely a rivalry but it’s all friendly. Obviously, they split up before the game to take their seats in their opposing stands.
He said: “I’ve been watching Town since 1985. “There’s a lot of banter and there will be over the weekend.
“It will be a family gathering.” And will Laina and Jaya be nice to each other on Monday – or will their football rivalry get the better of them?