Selfies raise money for Rovers

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PA

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson is to charge Doncaster Rovers fans £250 for selfies in a bid to raise funds for the club.

The 22-year-old, who completed a takeover deal of the League One club with cosmetic surgery magnate John Ryan last week, said the pair are hoping to attract £2 million from supporters as part of their crowdfunding project.

Interest in the club hit a peak among teenage girls last season when the What Makes You Beautiful singer declared his interest in the team, turning out to play in a reserve team fixture which drew more than 4,000 fans - a boost of around 3,900 on the second string's usual attendance.

Now the Tomlinson Ryan Trust has announced a series of crowdfunding ideas designed to boost club coffers.

According to the Trust's page, fans who bid £250 or more can "grab a selfie with Louis" before a home game. The price also includes a match ticket. So far more than 30 people have taken up the offer, the website said.

Those bidding £500 can have their picture taken with Tomlinson and the rest of the first team squad for the traditional pre-season photo, while those pledging at least £10,000 can enter a five-a-side tournament competing alongside the One Direction heartthrob "and his celebrity pals".

The most expensive offer, which so far has one backer, is for a VIP box at Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium. The recipient will allow 12 people to watch a home match from the box, and will include a "ten-minute chat" with Tomlinson. The club is hoping to sell up to 20 such packages.

At the other end of the scale, those offering £5 will be able to receive a thank-you video from Ryan in their email inbox. A message from Tomlinson is twice the price.

The trust's objectives for the club, relegated to the third tier of English football last season, include:

:: Achieving Premier League status ''by careful promotion, support, finance, and investment via its holding company'';

:: Building a ''high-quality'' playing squad;

:: Expanding the club's supporter base in the UK and internationally;

:: Helping supporters obtain direct ownership of up to 5% of the club;

:: Growing the Doncaster Rovers brand;

:: Embracing and supporting youth development and sports activities generally.

In return for pledges of cash, those who give to the crowdfunding campaign will be offered rewards including a place on a newly formed ''Club 28'', which gives them the chance to have a say in the future of the club.

According to the Trust website, fundraisers have already pledged more than a quarter of the £2 million sought, in just a few days.

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