One Direction’s first UK tour kicks off in Wolverhampton tomorrow. Victoria Nash and Elizabeth Joyce look back on an amazing year for the boys
A little more than a year ago, they were just five normal teenagers. Among them was Black Country boy Liam Payne, who spent his time studying at Wolverhampton’s St Peter’s Collegiate School and enjoying football matches at The Hawthorns.
But what a difference a year makes. Those five normal lads are now One Direction, the biggest boyband in the country with an army of fans whose hysteria levels rival that of Beatlemania.
The boys now boast celebrity girlfriends, number one singles and some of the most talked about hair in the country.
And this week 18-year-old Liam will be coming back to his home city of Wolverhampton for the group’s first-ever gig at the Civic Hall – cheered on by his proud family and friends.
Liam’s father Geoff revealed today that he is still not used to seeing his boy in the limelight.
“It feels very weird to pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV and see your son,” he said. “It is amazing for the boys that they are doing so well and also for all of the families. It is just a fantastic feeling.
“We are immensely proud. I was in HMV the other day and saw Liam and the boys on all the posters, CD covers and calendars.
“I had this huge grin on my face thinking ‘that’s my son’.
“You have to pinch yourself because it doesn’t feel real.
“It has been like watching a real-life documentary seeing Liam on various stages and developing over the years and then to see what has happened from X Factor has just been immense.”
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