There were scenes of disbelief last night as Mario Balotelli's chauffeur driven Range Rover pulled into the Sports Village on Littleton Road, Lower Kersal. Out of the car got Mario's younger brother, Enoch Barwauh, who began training with Salford City players and later signed on for the Ammies.
"Former Manchester United player Scott McGarvey is now an agent but is also a pal of ours and he asked if we wanted to have a look at Enoch in training" says Salford City President Dave Russell "He's been training with Stoke City and Oldham, and he looked quite sharp, quite a good athlete, and we'll take it from here."
"He mixed in right away with the team, he's a likeable kid and the lads liked him" he adds "It's disappointing we can't get clearance for him right away, so he could be in the squad. We've got suspensions coming up and forward Danny Heffernan is injured, so hopefully he'll have a shirt on very soon for Salford, and give his career a push and our club a push."
The club had tried to keep the star signing under wraps until international clearance had been secured but the news spread like wildfire across Salford this afternoon. Now the players are letting loose on Twitter…
Centre back Adrian Bellamy tweeted "Still can't get my head around it, Balotelli's brother trained with us last night ahaha". And centre forward Rob Kinsella tweeted "He's already booked himself on the Christmas get together"
Meanwhile Scott McGarvey told the Salford Star "I was having a drink with Dave Russell in The Friendship pub and he was telling me that he's got strikers injured and suspended and I said `I might have someone for you'. Enoch's capable of going into League football but in the meantime he's available once he's got international clearance, he'll join the squad and will try to get into the team."
Enoch has expressed a desire to play for his country of birth, Ghana, as well as Italy like his elder brother. In the meantime, it's Salford City FC that beckons.
The Ammies are known for signing lesser known brothers of famous players – Rhodri Giggs played and managed the team last season, while Sunderland full back Phil Bardsley's younger brother Josh was also in the team. Now Salford City is managed by former Barnsley player, Darren Sheridan, brother of ex Republic of Ireland international, John Sheridan. But the signing of Mario Balotelli's brother is the biggest coup yet…
Mario currently earns around £5million a year. So how does it compare with what the Ammies can offer Enoch?
"He's playing for the love" says Dave Russell "And to kickstart his career…"
Enoch couldn't have picked a better team.
Come and get a flavour of the tangerine dream about to be lived by Enoch as Salford City FC play Ossett Town at Moor Lane on Saturday 17th November kick off 3pm. £7/£3.
* Main photo shows Enoch signing for Salford City with club secretary Andy Giblin