One Direction star’s football skills a hit for charity

MORE than 5,000 turned out to watch Rotherham United reserves at Doncaster last night as One Direction star Louis Tomlinson made his football debut.

The Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday (26) was One Direction star Louis Tomlinson’s name on the Rovers teamsheet in aid of Bluebell Wood.

The children’s hospice patron and Rovers fan came on as a substitute and played nearly half an hour of the goalless draw.

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There were queues outside before the match as pop sensation Louis (22) signed autographs and posed for photos.

Screaming fans who travelled from around the world welcomed him to the pitch when he came on as Donny’s right back in the second half. One banner read: “Louis Tomlinson: We came from Mexico only to see you.”

Louis, who said it was a childhood dream to sign for Rovers, tweeted afterwards: “Wow what an incredible experience.

“Can’t put into words how I feel. I will never forget pulling on my own Doncaster Rovers shirt!!

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“Really can’t thank the team, the gaffer and every single person involved at Doncaster Rovers enough! I feel like a ten-year-old again!

“And obviously a huge huge thank you to everyone who came down. A real credit to our fans. Hope it was a good day out!”

United fielded first-team regulars including club captain Craig Morgan, Scott Shearer and Michael O’Connor as they prepared for this weekend’s home tie with Notts County.

Millers assistant manager Paul Raynor described the atmosphere as “surreal.”

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He added: “It was a little bit different but everybody seemed to enjoy it. It was a very strange atmosphere but a good one and great that it was for such a worthy cause, and it was a good game of football on top of that.

“Both sides played in the right way and, although there was the charity aspect with Louis playing, we still had to take it in a professional manner to get the boys ready for Saturday, and Doncaster did the same.”

The match is expected to have raised thousands of pounds for Bluebell Wood.