Worst shirt ever? Doncaster Rovers deny fixing kit contest after 1D star Louis Tomlinson wins

DONCASTER ROVERS supporters have accused the club of fixing a competition to design a new strip, after one of the top prizes went to millionaire pop star Louis Tomlinson.

Louis Tomlinson in Doncaster strip

The club announced on Monday that a design by the One Direction singer had polled the most votes from five shortlisted designs for a new away shirt.

The decision prompted an outcry on social media today, with fans accusing the club of manipulating the competition in an attempt to sell more shirts.

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Mr Tomlinson, a lifelong Rovers fan who was born in Doncaster and has a net worth put at £16m, is now eligible for the competition prize, a trip to Thailand.

The competition-winning away shirt designed by Louis Tomlinson

The star, who tried to buy the club in 2014, until a funding deal collapsed, was quoted on the Rovers website as saying: “I designed the kit with my granddad when I was home a few weeks ago. We used to go to Belle Vue together so it has always been a family affair with us and to now have a hand in next season’s away shirt is brilliant. I can’t wait to see my team wearing it”.

The quote appeared alongside a promotion for buyers who pre-ordered the shirt to win one of 20 signed by Mr Tomlinson.

Neil Taylor, who administrates the Doncaster Rovers Facebook group, said fans were considering boycotting the away kit in protest.

He said: “I am absolutely livid because they asked me to push the competition [on Facebook] telling fans that it was a once in a lifetime prize, and we agreed. For most people a free trip to Thailand is a once in a lifetime prize.

The competition-winning away shirt designed by Louis Tomlinson

“I have nothing against Louis Tomlinson, I’m sure he’s a nice lad. My issue is with the club. You would have thought they would stop anyone connected to the club from entering.”

Mr Taylor said he believed the exercise was a way of using Mr Tomlinson’s popularity to sell shirts to fans of One Direction.

A spokesman for Doncaster Rovers said: “The process for receiving kit designs, shortlisting and the public voting for our kit design competition followed strict legal guidance to ensure that the club adhered to competition law and that all processes were fair.

“We are aware that the result of the competition has attracted some mixed feedback, but we can assure our fans that the voting process for the 2016/17 shirt designs was all was fair and above board.”