1D fans had to wait and wait for a glimpse of Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson in the Soccer Aid match


If you blinked you might have missed them as One Direction pair Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson made late cameo appearances in the biennial Soccer Aid charity match for Unicef on Sunday night.

A crowd of 65,000 fans packed into Old Trafford and, judging by the squals of delight from the awaiting crowds when both men stepped off their team buses before the match, the majority of them had turned out to catch a glimpse of their 1D heroes.

They had to wait until the 76th-minute before Horan finally made it onto the pitch, offering a wave to his fans before revealing himself as a capable footballer.

Tomlinson followed Horan in coming on a couple of minutes later for the England team, which won the match 3-2 despite presenter Ben Shephard becoming the first player ever sent off in the decade-long history of the match.

England lift the 2016 Soccer Aid trophy

Tomlinson has history of drawing One Direction fans to football - 4,000 turned out to watch him play a reserve-team match for Doncaster Rovers after he signed a non-contract deal for his home-town club in 2014 - and earlier this year he and his grandfather won a *competition* to design the lower-league club's away kit for next season.

With the 1D singers otherwise cooling their heels on the sidelines - with incoming Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho also watching on from the stands in his capacity as England coach - former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright stole the limelight with a man-of-the-match performance.

The 29-year-old was a semi-professional footballer before his media career and showed his talent when he crashed in a long-range goal that beat ROW goalkeeper, and former Celebrity Love Island presenter, Patrick Kielty.

The charity match pitted celebrities and current and former professional footballers against one another to raise money for charity, with more than £5 million raised by the end of the match.

The match took on an unlikely feisty edge at some stages with former Holland international Edgar Davids unhappy with a foul on him by Shephard in the first half before the presenter was then sent off shortly after half-time when Jon Moss took over referee duties.

That drew some boos from the crowd - it was perhaps slightly harsh given the philanthropic fare on offer - although Premier League official Moss appeared determined to make sure the letter of the law was upheld as moments later he awarded a penalty that former United striker Dimitar Berbatov tucked away to give the ROW a 2-1 lead.

England coach Robbie Williams

An England team that included celebrities such as Robbie Williams, Damian Lewis and John Bishop as well as former internationals Jamie Carragher and David Seaman would triumph, however, thanks to two goals from a player who many thought was unlucky not to be joining Roy Hodgson's actual England squad for the upcoming Euro 2016.

Jermain Defoe banged in a couple of goals - albeit after embarrassingly denying comedian Jack Whitehall a goal when he got in the way of a goal-bound shot - to claim the Soccer Aid trophy back for England.

Olly Murs had earlier been the most impressive figure in a goalless first-half while fellow former X Factor singer Shayne Ward copped a nasty, but accidental, blow to the face from former England defender Carragher that briefly forced him off holding his jaw.

Olly Murs leaps over Fabio Cannavaro

The Old Trafford crowd were thoroughly entertained throughout, bewitched by the Brazilian flair of the likes of Cafu and Ronaldinho, who attempted to reprise his famous long-range lob of Seaman that consigned England to their exit from the 2002 World Cup.

This time, however, his shot flew harmlessly into the stands.

Before the match Mourinho arrived for his first match - of sorts - since being named United manager although even he was left star-struck after meeting Brazil legend Pele.

Alongside the picture on his Instagram account, Mourinho wrote: "An honour to host Pele at my new house".

The public can continue to donate to Unicef by texting GIVE to 70750 to give £5. Text donations are open until July 29. The UK government will double all donations to Soccer Aid.