Watch out David Beckham, there's a new heartthrob on the soccer field! One Direction's Louis Tomlinson just signed a non-contract player deal with the U.K.'s Doncaster Rovers Football Club, where he'll rep for his native country. And according to a spokesperson, the boy-bander has already gotten the team lots of publicity.
MTV News reached out to Steve Uttley, the Head of Media for Doncaster Rovers FC, on Firday (August 2), and he told us the interest in the singer's soccer skills has been overwhelming since the announcement broke on Thursday.
"Well, we gained 30,000 people on our Twitter feed [Thursday] and our online shop was inundated with people wanting to buy shirts. It went a bit bigger than I thought," Uttley admitted.
As the story goes, Louis played a special match for the Doncaster Rovers' official charity, the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, last October, and "it all started from that. "Upwards of 9,000 people showed up to that match," Uttley noted.
Amazing day for me, such an honour to be part of @drfc_official ! Who's gonna come to a game :) ?— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) August 1, 2013
But Tomlinson's friendship with the soccer team ignited way before that game. In fact, the 1D singer is a local from the area who had a job with the club before his superstar, boy band days.
"He actually worked in our burger bar during matches when he was younger before he became famous," Uttley shared. "He was just a young kid who wanted a part-time job and he used to work in the burger bars. He used to play; he used to have a knockabout on our Astroturf.
"So he always was into the football and things like that. ... It was quite a surprise when he suddenly turned up on 'X Factor'. We never imagined just how big he could get," he added.
Uttley anticipates that Tomlinson should be able to fit in some training and probably one game sometime this fall, between his major-label engagements, which include globe-spanning tours, a new album and a 3-D movie, "This Is Us," out later this month.
He also shared that the 21-year-old singer has been in contact with the players, noting that "he wants to get involved more. He said he wants to make people aware of this club because it's not as big as Manchester United and things. Plus, he's a patron of the Bluebell charity, so he wants to bring awareness to that as well."
So what are Louis' strengths on the soccer field? "He's a defender," Uttley revealed. "He likes to sit on the left-back, so he sits on the left side and defends. But he likes to get on-field as well and take defense into attack, so he's that sort of player. He just likes playing. He just likes to play football," he explained, using the Brit word for soccer.
"I think we could break a record for this reserve team game," he said of Louis' upcoming match. "I'm sure it's going to be a noisy night."