DOZENS of devoted fans waited in the rain to try to snatch a glimpse of pop icon Louis Tomlinson as he returned to his Doncaster family home for the first time since conquering America.
The 20-year-old singer, whose band One Direction topped the American charts with their album Up All Night, was back in Doncaster for a weekend after finally returning to England following a gruelling tour of America and Australia.
For the fans it was a chance to see their hero - but for his family in Bessacarr it was a chance to hug a relative some of them had not seen since January.
Mum Johannah said they had surprised his sisters with his visit to the borough.
He said: “They were excited - his youngest sister had not seen him since January and when he walked in she stood with her mouth open and her eyes wide. She said ‘we’ve been watching you on the telly’. “He came up on Friday and went back at the start of the week to do something in London.
“He brought his best friend Stan back up from Luton University, and they went out, going to the shops in Doncaster and then came up to see his family.
“There were fans waiting out with travel blankets when it was chucking down with rain. There were families who had driven four hours, they were just fabulous. I gather some of them even went to my parents to take pictures of where Louis used to play when he was little when he visited his grandparents.
“It’s quite funny really, but they are always really polite. He went out, but he didn’t sign any autographs because it was so wet. We made a pact he would come out and say hello to everyone, but not sign autographs.
“He went to play tennis with Stan and had a game of football at Bolton Hill playing fields.
“Sometimes he can get away without being recognised if he’s out wearing normal clothes. But he says it is nice when he gets to speak to people back here in Doncaster because it’s nice to hear people with the same accent as his.”
Members at Doncaster Tennis Club reported seeing Louis arrive in his Porsche.
But Johannah says he may be upgrading his motor in the near future, to keep up with his pal in the band, Harry Styles, who has recently bought an Audi R8.
The former pupil of Hayfield and Hall Cross Schools is also currently looking to buy a house in London.
His return to Doncaster and England is only brief - the group are due to head off to Sweden later this month to start recording their second album.
Then they will be heading off back for another tour of North America.