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Who is Love Island footballer Tom Clare? Everything you need to know about Macclesfield striker

18:59 EAT 19/01/2023
Tom Clare Love Island 2023 Macclesfield footballer
Everything you need to know about Love Island 2023 contestant, Macclesfield footballer Tom Clare

The British reality TV dating game show Love Island has a history of casting sportspeople as contestants and footballer Tom Clare is the latest example, following in the footsteps of people such as the boxer Tommy Fury and Irish rugby union player Greg O'Shea.

Clare is not the first footballer to appear on the show, with former Wealdstone defender Dennon Lewis, ex Wolves youth Aaron Simpson and former MK Dons defender Finn Tapp among the past contestants.

So who exactly is he, what is his position and which teams has he played for? GOAL brings you everything you need to know.

Who is Love Island contestant Tom Clare?

Date of birth:September 2, 1999
Place of birth:Barnsley

Tom Clare is a semi-professional footballer from Barnsley who plays as a forward for Macclesfield. Born on September 2, 1999, Clare has plied most of his trade a footballer in England's lower leagues and joined non-league side Macclesfield in 2021.

He was granted permission from his club to leave mid-way through the 2022-23 season in order to participate in the Love Island TV programme.

"Macclesfield FC can confirm that the club have granted Tom Clare an extended period of leave in order to appear in this year's Love Island competition," a statement from the club said.

"Tom approached us with the request a number of weeks ago and we were happy to show the same loyalty that he has to us since becoming one of our first-ever signings back in 2021. Despite the fact that we are disappointed to lose a player of Tom's calibre for the foreseeable future, we also recognise the incredible opportunity that this represents for both him and his family on a personal level.

"Tom remains very much part of our plans here at the stadium and has expressed his unwavering desire to return to the club after the show. We wish Tom every success and look forward to welcoming him back to the club in due course."

Former Wales and Leicester City midfielder Robbie Savage, who owns the club Clare plays for, gave his blessing to the forward to enter the Love Island competition.

"I'm supporting a young man with an opportunity to change his life," Savage explained on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The ex Derby County man continued: "Tom Clare has a day job. He's a part time footballer at Macclesfield. He was top scorer last season and is in and out of the team this season. How can I, as an owner of a football club, stand in a 23-year-old's way when there's an opportunity for him and his family to earn vast sums of money if he does well?"

Which football teams has Tom Clare played for?

In addition to Macclesfield, Clare has played for a number of non-league teams, but came through the academy at Barnsley, his hometown club.

He left Barnsley to join Bradford City in 2018 and, while there he spent time on loan at Boston United before signing for them on a permanent basis in 2019. He subsequently played for Bradford (PA), Buxton and Pontefract Collieries before signing for Macclesfield in 2021.

What is Love Island?

Love Island is a dating gameshow presented by Maya Jama that is broadcast on television in the UK.

Contestants live in an isolated location and the aim of the game is for them to couple up and avoid elimination. The prize awarded to the successful couple at the end of the series is £50,000.

How to vote on Love Island 2023

The game show involves a number of public votes and anyone who wishes to vote can do so via the Love Island app.