Fans of One Direction star Louis Tomlinson may know that his father, Troy Austin, split from Louis’s mum Johanna when Louis was just two years old…
In the intervening time, Troy met and married someone else and had another family, but lost touch with Louis, until that is when Louis contacted him two years ago to tell him he was about to appear on The X Factor.
And in today’s Daily Mirror, Troy has revealed that he took his daughter Georgia – who is of course Louis’ half-sister – to see One Direction play live in Nottingham, but was upset that first he had to buy the tickets himself, and second that he and Georgia weren’t invited backstage to see Louis.
Among his other remarks about his famous son during the interview, Troy said, “I love him to bits… I just hope he knows it.”
Of going to see 1D live, Troy explained, “Seeing Louis on that stage was amazing. He’s in the -biggest band in the world and I’m the proudest dad in the world.
“I just hope he knows it.”
He added, “It was a shame we couldn’t see Louis and tell him how brilliant he was.
“But I know he and the rest of the lads are really busy. Georgia was gutted – she’s his half-sister after all.
“I haven’t been there for most of his life, so I understand I’m not one of his main priorities.
“He knows we were in the crowd and now I want to tell him what it meant to me to see him up there. I cried buckets…
“I thought the best concerts I’d ever been to were U2 and The Waterboys, but not any more.”
He continued, “Me and his mum splitting up when he was so young wasn’t anyone’s fault… I know it was hard on him.
“Seeing what he’s done with his life makes me so happy.
“I know people will think I’m only interested in being part of his life again because he’s rich and famous. But it’s not about that.
“I’m his dad. We’re flesh and blood and nothing can change that. I’m so proud of him I could burst.
“Of course, I would love to see him again and have a proper relationship with him. What dad wouldn’t?
“But it’s up to him. I want him to know I think he’s fantastic and that Georgia is his biggest fan.”
And of how Georgia felt seeing her big brother on-stage, Troy said, “She was screaming and crying like all the girls on Wednesday…
“It was sad to think no one sitting around us knew she was Louis’ sister. She idolises him.
“All she wants is to be a proper sister to him.”
And of meeting Louis for the first time since he was a toddler – which was ahead of Louis’ appearance on X Factor – Troy said, “A few days before, his mum rang out of the blue and told me Louis wanted to see me…
“He was so grown up. The last time I’d seen him, he was a boy. Now he was a handsome young man.
“His manners were impeccable. I was bowled over by how he’d turned out. I told Johanna he was a credit to her.
“He explained that he’d auditioned for The X Factor and that he’d been put in a group by Simon Cowell.
“He said he didn’t want me to find out just by seeing him on TV.
“I knew he’d been in a band when he was at school and that he was into performing.
“I think he gets it from my nan, his great-gran. She died in 2001 aged 86 but was still ¬singing in her local pub right up until the end. She was a born entertainer.”
The paper adds, “Troy tried to speak to Louis several times during the series but Johanna and the show’s producers were protective and his mobile number was changed constantly.”
He said, “I had to watch from afar. When the show ended and the band took off, it was unbelievable.
“Every time I opened a paper or turned on the TV, they were there. I told the odd person I was Louis’ dad but mostly kept it to myself.
“I didn’t want to look like I was jumping on the bandwagon.
“Georgia was nuts about the band from the start. She went to the X Factor Live Tour with her aunt.
“Louis knew she was going to be in the front row. He singled her out and reached out and touched her hand for a second or two. It made her year.”
Finally, the paper states, “TROY was not paid for this interview. A donation has been made on his behalf to the Bluebell Wood children’s cancer charity.”
Here’s a look at Louis and the rest of 1D in action in Nottingham…