British pop star Louis Tomlinson, one of the stars of teen heart-throb band One Direction, will make his debut for English second-tier side Doncaster Rovers in a reserve match on Wednesday.
Tomlinson, 22, a fan of the club from Yorkshire in northern England and one of the five members of the multi-million selling boy band, agreed a a non-contract deal last year as part of an association with the club in aid of a children’s hospice.
It had been planned he would play in September but he had to withdraw after being injured in a charity match.
However, it is expected he would take some part when Doncaster reserves face local rivals Rotherham on Wednesday.
Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium is set to play host to several thousand One Direction fans, with some travelling from as far afield as Denmark and Italy to catch a glimpse of their hero who, with his bandmates, won two prizes at the British music industry’s Brit Awards last week.
“We’ve built a relationship with Louis over the last two years and last summer we announced he had signed for us and would play in a development game,” Doncaster spokesman Shaun Lockwood said on Tuesday.
“He played in a celebrity match here in 2012 which was successful in raising funds for Bluebell Wood (children’s hospice) and this was a case of ‘can we do something different?’
“When his schedule allows he comes to watch us, because he supports the team, and he’s been here a few times for training sessions ahead of the game.
“He’s met all the players, but I should probably say they’ve met him because there are certainly a few wives, girlfriends and daughters glad that he’s been around.”
The club have yet to ask Tomlinson for financial backing, with Lockwood adding: “There’s not been a conversation about investing in the club as far as I’m aware.
“I suspect he’s probably more focused on his own career for the time being. But the manager (Paul Dickov) has told Louis he’ll be keeping an eye on him though, so we’ll have to see how he plays!”