Doncaster Rovers: Brand New Direction

Louis Tomlinson and John Ryan
Louis Tomlinson and John Ryan

Louis Tomlinson has refused to play down John Ryan’s eternal ambition of taking Doncaster Rovers to the Premier League.

The Bessacarr-born One Direction star yesterday announced he has bought his boyhood club alongside former chairman Ryan.

And he immediately took a leaf out of the always optimistic Ryan’s book by daring to dream.

“There’s no point in stumping your ambitions by saying anything other than reaching the Premier League,” the 22-year-old said.

“We’re very ambitious, very enthusiastic and we’re going to do the very best we can. Wherever it takes us, we’ll have to wait and see but we’re going to do our best.”

Tomlinson and Ryan will be equal partners and co-chairmen after taking control of around 85 per cent of the club.

Major shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson plus David Blunt and Watson’s two children agreed to sell their shares to the duo.

Buying the club completes Tomlinson’s journey from waiter at the Keepmoat Stadium to club owner, via becoming part of one of the biggest music sensations in the world. And he still cannot quite believe it himself.

He said: “I don’t think many waiters would ever think they would be in this position.

“It’s unbelievable and obviously an absolute honour.

“I’m such a big Doncaster Rovers fan myself and to be involved with John who is so experienced and loved in the town is great,” Tomlinson added.

The pair also announced the creation of the Tomlinson Ryan Trust, a crowd funding project with the aim of raising £2million from donations to support the club.

Ryan said: “By setting up the Trust, launching the crowdfunding campaign with, and putting our own money in, we are making it clear to Doncaster Rovers supporters, and the general public, that we are planning to give the club the support and resources it needs.”

One of the goals of the Trust is to allow supporters to own a five per cent stake in the club plus raise funds to be pumped directly into the playing squad.

Ryan said: “It’s unique I think.

“We always have to think outside the box a bit at Doncaster Rovers because we’ve not got a big fan base. But we hope in time we will have.

“I’m delighted and terribly excited about this whole thing.

“To bring someone like Louis Tomlinson on board is in a strange way like signing a top player.

“He can bring so much to the club in enthusiasm and endeavour.

“He just adds that bit of stardust to the club.

“We’ve always been a fairly unfashionable as a club, apart from in my eyes, but with Louis on board we’ll become a lot more fashionable.

“Cool Rovers is the word.”