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One Direction star Louis Tomlinson makes soccer debut

updated 7:38 AM EST, Thu February 27, 2014
One Direction star Louis Tomlinson swapped pop for soccer on Wednesday when he made his debut for his home-town club Doncaster Rovers, who play in the second-tier of English football, in front of 5,000 screaming fans. One Direction star Louis Tomlinson swapped pop for soccer on Wednesday when he made his debut for his home-town club Doncaster Rovers, who play in the second-tier of English football, in front of 5,000 screaming fans.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • One Direction star Louis Tomlinson makes football debut for Doncaster Rovers
  • Pop star plays for second-tier English club in a reserve fixture against Rotherham
  • A crowd of 5,000 fans turned up to watch, mostly teenage girls
  • 22-year-old Tomlinson played 25 minutes and called it a "boyhood dream"

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(CNN) -- This was a not a normal reserve team fixture for English second-tier club Doncaster Rovers.

For a start, a bevvy of teenage girls started arriving ahead of their development squad's clash with Rotherham around midday.

And when the teams finally took to the field, a crowd of around 5,000 fans had amassed for a fixture that would usually attract only a handful of diehard supporters.

But then, it isn't every day that Louis Tomlinson -- one fifth of the most popular boy band on the planet -- is the star attraction.

Read: One Direction star signs soccer deal

A mixture of applause and high-pitched screaming greeted the One Direction singer, who signed a deal with his home-town club last August, when he was introduced as a substitute.

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Try as he might, the 22-year-old couldn't break the deadlock as the match petered out into a goalless draw.

"Just pulling on the shirt is just a boyhood dream," he told the club's official website after getting 25 minutes of action in the match that helped support a local charity.

"It's absolutely amazing, those boys get to do that every week and it really is such an honor to be involved in a club, where I spent most of my childhood going down to the games."

One Direction were formed through British talent show X-Factor in 2010 and have broken record after record since -- their success stateside even being compared to that of the Beatles.

Tomlinson stars alongside Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne in the band, who are managed by music mogul Simon Cowell.

They are the only UK band to have had their first two albums reach No.1 in the U.S and have a combined 98 million followers on Twitter.

Tomlinson's hectic schedule with the band had prevented him making his debut before now, and he spent a month training with the club before Wednesday's bow.

One previous high-profile appearance in an all-star charity match ended prematurely when he was tackled strongly by Gabriel Agbonlahor -- leading to a wave of abuse on social media for the Aston Villa star.

"I had to get fit first, because a few people saw what happened last time when Agbonlahor nobbled me and that was a bit of a mare and I had to try and avoid that," Tomlinson added.

"I did alright in the end I think. I think its really important that when we are lucky enough to be in the position that we are in, to use that for the greater good.

"It is really important to spread the word about (children's hospice) Bluebell Wood because they are such a great, great charity."

So could Tomlinson be persuaded to put his pop career on hold in a bid to try and make it full time with Doncaster?

When asked if it was easier being a pop star than a footballer he replied: "Physically it is much easier is being on stage and singing because those boys are proper athletes -- football is harder.

"To get an insight into the football world has been fascinating and to be invited into that is such an honor.

"I have really enjoyed it and I can't thank the people enough at Doncaster Rovers for having me."

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