Soni meets his rugby league hero's family: Whitehaven's Serbian player honours Halifax's Milan

A SERBIAN rugby league player met the family of his sporting hero in Halifax.

Soni Radovanovic is only the second RL player to come from Serbia to play in the UK.

The first was his hero, Halifax's Milan Kosanovic.

Mr Kosanovic died in 1989 but Soni was eager to meet his widow, Sylvia, and sons, Mark and Zoran, who run fish and chip shops at West Vale and Brackenbed, Pellon, Halifax.

And his wish came true at the Shay on Saturday, just before the kick-off between Halifax and Whitehaven, who Soni now plays for.

Mark said: "The meeting went really well. Soni wanted to know all about my dad, when he came over and when he started playing rugby.

"We sat together during the match and talked about everything, from rugby to how he is coping with life in England.

"He was really proud to have met us and glad to meet my mum. We plan to keep in touch and meet up again in a month or so."

Milan left the former Yugoslavia aged 15 to move to Halifax. He played with Bradford Northern, Wakefield Trinity and Feather-stone Rovers, and eventually started Milan's Wine Bar in Halifax.

Soni, who has been in the UK for two months, said: "I found out about Milan when I played for the Warrington Wizards. We had a match in Bradford and I met a Serb who told me about Milan and said he had two sons.

Soni is the first eastern European player to join a Co-operative Championship club.

Watch highlights of Halifax v Whitehaven