Niall Horan reflects on time in One Direction with Dermot O’Leary
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After the X Factor competition was brought to an end in 2009 One Direction paved their own way in the music industry. The boys enjoyed six years of incredible fame and popularity while selling more than 50 million albums. In 2013 the band was offered a chance to play on the Newcastle United football grounds.
1D was offered the opportunity by the team’s manager, Alan Pardew, who was introduced to the band by Tony Pierzchalski, a friend of the group.
Tony said at the time: “I’m good friends with Pards, I sorted it all out … I spoke to Pards and said: ‘Can I bring the boys into the training ground for a kick around?’ He was like: ‘Yeah, absolutely no problem. We’ll set up a match.'”
The band was ecstatic to be playing on professional grounds in the official Newcastle kit.
However, Zayn Malik was notably absent.
According to a report at the time, Zayn did not attend the event, opting instead to stay at a nearby hotel.
He was reportedly feeling “a little under the weather”.
The rest of the band, however, were very excited to be out and about playing football with the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa, Danny Simpson and Steve Harper.
Harry Styles joked around: “I’m an all-rounder. The next five years of your life at Newcastle Football club is big, so it’s an exciting day, a big day.”
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Liam Payne discusses possibility of One Direction reunion
Harry then commented on the new outfit he had been gifted. He said: “I’m a fan of the kit, I like black and white together, I think they go well. It’s slimming!”
The rest of the band then joked about being inducted into the team for real. Liam Payne began: “I play at the back. I’m one of the biggest lads in the world so good luck getting past me and that’s about all really.
“We’re all ready for it today, we’re all here to play.”
Louis Tomlinson commented: “I think of myself as quite versatile. I’m ready for today and, hopefully, I can put in a good game.”
Louis continued: “I came here to try and grab that deal and when [Pardew] called me out, it was a big moment. I’m very excited about this club.”
Niall added: “I got approached by the manager about six months ago, he’s wanted to take me into the club for a while, he said he’s been scouting me for a long time – since I played in the Champions League Final last season.
“It’s been a great summer, and I see myself as a solid centre midfielder.”
Less than two years later, Zayn announced he was leaving the band.
In 2015 Zayn’s exit sparked the beginning of the end for One Direction.
The team later split at the end of 2015, sparking the beginning of each of the members’ solo careers.
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