Hundreds of One Direction fans will descend on South Yorkshire tomorrow to catch a glimpse of homegrown boy band ace Louis Tomlinson as he takes to the football field once more.
And while the star singer might be attracting all the selfies and screams at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, the real star of the show won’t be the 1D favourite, but rather an unassuming, 30-something footballer from the north east who will quite rightly take centre stage.
Tomorrow long-serving Doncaster Rovers midfielder James Coppinger will kick-off a string of events to mark 11 years at the club – and when the special Legends game gets underway at 4pm, he will be surrounded by a host of familiar faces.
A string of players, managers and even former club chairman John Ryan will be there to see the 34-year-old given a fitting party as he closes in on the club’s all time appearance record, held by ’80s favourite Colin Douglas.
And while scores of fans of 1D star Louis will be cheering on their idol, skippering one of the two teams of Rovers greats, Sunday’s game is all about giving Coppinger his well-deserved time in the spotlight.
He said: “This is a wonderful chance for all the people who support the club to come out and show what we are about and have an amazing day we won’t forget while also bringing new fans to Doncaster, showcasing some of the players I have played with who have played such a big part in the amazing success this club has had over the past 10 years.”
Coppinger, who joined Doncaster in 2004, is second in the list of Rovers all-time appearance makers, having played more than 440 games since joining from Exeter City.
Only Douglas – 468 – has made more appearances.
Also joining the pair for the game will be a host of ex-Rovers heroes including goal ace Billy Sharp, midfielders Brian Stock and Paul Green, defenders James O’Connor, Ricky Ravenhill and Tim Ryan and striker Leo Fortune-West.
Other names signing up are former keepers Andy Warrington and Neil Sullivan, goal grabber Gregg Blundell and fans’ favourite Jason Price.
Former bosses Dave Penney and Sean O’Driscoll will return, along with assistants Mickey Walker and Richard O’Kelly, to manage the two teams.
Former chairman John Ryan, who last week cut ties with the club after 14 years, will referee proceedings.
Two supporters, picked at random, will also get the chance to feature.
Tickets are £21 for adults and £13 for under 16s.
Log on to www.jamescoppinger.co.uk