Tuesday 27 September 2016

Fans get shirty over 1D Louis's football kit design

Published 05/04/2016 | 14:06

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson at Doncaster Rovers FC (Doncaster Rovers FC/PA)
One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson at Doncaster Rovers FC (Doncaster Rovers FC/PA)

Singer Louis Tomlinson has won a competition to design the away shirt of his home-town football club Doncaster Rovers and fans are not happy.

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The lower-league club announced on Monday that "local lad" Tomlinson had won the competition after his design - an all-black shirt - was voted the best in an online public poll on its website.

The One Direction star designed the shirt with his grandfather and, after confirmation of his win, he posted on Twitter: "Soooooo me and my Grandad Len won the competition of designing the new Donny away shirt. Pretty sick".

Fans have, however, questioned whether Tomlinson's win was a publicity stunt.

"You kidding me, the away shirt was coincidently designed by Louis Tomlinson and it coincidently won?! Awful, just awful!!!!!," Twitter user Jake Laughton wrote.

Thomas Bailey wrote: "Lad from One Direction wins a competition to design the Doncaster away kit. Definitely not an attempt at improving shirt sales..."

The South Yorkshire club said Tomlinson's design had won a majority 33.7% of the public vote and, while acknowledging "mixed feedback" to the result, a spokesman said the voting process was fair and legal.

"The process for receiving kit designs, shortlisting and the public voting for our kit design competition followed strict legal guidance to ensure that the club adhered to competition law and that all processes were fair," the spokesman said.

"We are aware that the result of the competition has attracted some mixed feedback, but we can assure our fans that the voting process for the 2016/17 shirt designs was all was fair and above board."

"The club will make no further comment at this time."

Two years ago Tomlinson made a well-publicised professional debut for Doncaster's reserves team.

More than 5,000 fans turned up to that match - consisting mainly of die-hard Directioners - with some travelling from as far as away as Michigan and Mexico to see Tomlinson in action.

The 24-year-old also played in a club "legends match" last April and, as a part of his competition prize, is set to travel to Thailand to see the kit being manufactured.

"I designed the kit with my granddad when I was home a few weeks ago," Tomlinson said in a statement from the club.

"We used to go to Belle Vue together so it has always been a family affair with us and to now have a hand in next season's away shirt is brilliant. I can't wait to see my team wearing it."

Doncaster have also revealed that fans who pre-order the away kit before June 10 could win one of 20 shirts signed by Tomlinson.

Doncaster fan Shaun Smith won the competition to design the home shirt.

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