Pakistani All-Ireland winner reveals Andy Moran inspired him to take up Gaelic Football

Shairoze Akram was part of the Mayo team that won the Under-21 All-Ireland title

akram, moran, ballaghadereen, mayo, gaa, football, under 21

Shairoze Akram and Michael Hall of Mayo celebrate at the end of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Mayo's Under-21 side made history on Saturday evening winning the All-Ireland title for the first time since 2006.

While the team were celebrating in Ennis after beating Cork, it was revealed that one of their players had made history of his own. Ballaghaderreen's Shairoze Akram became the first Pakistani-born player to win an All-Ireland title.

Akram told the Irish Independent, that the only reason he took up the game was because of pressure from club-mate and Mayo star Andy Moran. "I was persuaded to play the game. Andy Moran, I put it all down to him. I was sort of made go by him and it has taken off from there. I picked the game up when I was in sixth class about eight or nine years ago and I've been played ever since."

Mayo's Andy Moran has been Akram's inspiration. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The wing-back moved to Ireland as a four-year-old in 2001 and has started each game for the team this year since the Connacht Final win over Roscommon. Akram revealed that Moran has helped him throughout his fledgling career.

"He is a great mentor. He's the one who got me involved in football and he has helped me ever since. Anything I ever needed - he has been there for me since the start. I'd like to thank him for that and for everything."

Injury meant that Akram missed out on playing with the minors last year, but he has a chance to play with the Under-21s again in 2017 as Mayo will look to retain their crown for the first time ever.