Families from across the region took part in congregational Eid prayers on the pitch at Ewood Park, the home of Blackburn Rovers.

Rovers became the first football club in England to host Eid prayers today. The festival marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

In what was a rare occasion of late, Muslims from across the UK were all celebrating the festival on the same day after a late announcement last night meant a unified Eid day could take place.

Worshippers, both men and women, began to arrive at Ewood Park after 8.30am and as numbers picked up organisers had to lay out further plastic sheeting to accommodate the people.

Volunteers were on hand to manage traffic outside the ground.

Buses had been laid on by organisers to encourage people to travel together to and from the stadium.

Sheikh Wasim Kempson led prayers and also performed the traditional Eid day sermon in front of around 2000 people.

Later attendees were welcomed by the chief executive of Blackburn Rovers, Steve Waggott, before the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Derek Hardman, thanked the club for hosting the event.

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Umar, 31, attended with his wife and children. He said: “It was wonderful to be here at the stadium. I am not a football fan but I am so thankful they hosted this event for the community.

“The stadium is beautiful and everyone has been welcoming. I really hope it is a regular event.”

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Yaqoob, 43 came with his elderly father. He said: “For so many people to turn out like this together is a marvellous sight.

“There are young and old with families. This is what Eid is about. Prayers in unison together.

“It was so good to be able to bring my daughters and wife to the prayers.”

Kamal, 23 said: “As a Rovers fan this I something special.”

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Morning Eid prayers began as early as 6am this morning at many mosques in the town with people then heading to the cemetery to remember those not abel to be with us at this time.

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