BROTHERLY love will be put on hold for 90 minutes next Tuesday night when Paul and John Mullin go head-to-head in the LDV Vans Trophy.
For the first time in their careers the two will line up against each other as Paul leads Accrington Stanley's attack against his younger brother's Rotherham United.
"We played for the same team - the Junior Clarets - when we were growing up but we have only played against each other in the street, so it will be a first," said former Burnley favourite John.
"It's typical of football to throw this kind of thing up but I think it will be more special for our mum and dad. I'm sure they will say to me that they are supporting Rotherham and to Paul that they are supporting Stanley.
"But Paul and I will both be wanting the same thing, to win the game."
Parents Bernard and Mary are loyal supporters and regular watchers of both of their sons and Paul, the eldest by a year at 31, is sure they will have mixed feelings.
"At least one Mullin will be in the next round," he said. "John and I will shake hands at the start and at the end and then life will go on. But in the 90 minutes we will forget the outside issues and want to win. We have both been in the game long enough just to get on with it."
The brothers will give no quarter during the first-round clash at Millmoor and are aware of the threat that each poses to their hopes of progressing.
"Paul has responded to whatever level he has played at," said John, now one of Rotherham's longest serving players following two spells at Burnley either side of four seasons with Sunderland.
"He has proved enough against the League teams in the cup runs Stanley have had that he could have hacked it at League level so we will have to keep an eye on him."
And John knows his side will have to be on their game to avoid an upset after watching Stanley's victory over Hereford last Friday night.
"They are having a really good season and it will be a difficult game. But we need a few wins. We have had a bit of a rocky spell and it's really important that we get our house in order," he said.
Last season Stanley knocked out Bradford City at this stage of the competition and Mullin senior believes in-form Accrington will travel with confidence to take on a Rotherham side likely to rely heavily on the influence of his brother in midfield.
"John has done so well to have had so many years as a professional footballer. When the average is only three or four years he has had 13 or 14 and it is not an easy profession," said Paul.
"This has been his only season out of the top two divisions so he has had a good career and I have a lot of respect for what he has done.
"I have done it a different way, going to university and through non-league and then only towards the end of my career had a couple of years as a professional and scored a few goals along the way, which has been great."
May the best of two good men win.