Love Island's Tom Clare – the footballer who is mates with Robbie Savage
The hotly anticipated new series of Love Island returned to screens on Monday night, as a host of singletons headed to South Africa looking for love. The ninth series of ITV’s flagship dating show – the first winter edition since before the Covid-19 pandemic – marked the debut of new host Maya Jama, who fronts the programme following Laura Whitmore’s departure last year.
For the first time ever, fans were given the chance to choose the first late arrival into the competition, following a public vote prior to the launch show. The winner of the public vote was 23-year-old Tom Clare, who entered the villa at the end of Monday’s episode.
The Barnsley born bombshell plays semi-professional football for eighth tier Macclesfield FC, the East Cheshire club that boasts pundit and former Wales international Robbie Savage as its director of football. Tom joined the club as a striker in July 2021 and they were promoted to the Northern Premier League Division One West the following month.
READ MORE: How to watch Love Island even if you are not in the UK
Ahead of his Love Island entrance, Tom explained how he signed up because he wants to “meet someone,” adding: “It’s good going out and having a laugh but I miss sharing stuff. Life’s too short. These opportunities don’t come around often.”
Tom describes himself as a “good laugh” and a “good vibe.” He said: “I’m not snakey. I don’t like that kind of stuff. If I’ve got an issue with someone, I’ll speak to them.”
On the traits that make him dateable, he said he is “loyal, trustworthy [and] family-orientated.” “My friends would think I’m a good laugh,” he added.
“A top guy to be around, probably take all the girls off them.”
Discover, learn, grow. We are Curiously. Follow us on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The Yorkshire-born footballer also reflected on why he is single, admitting that, since his last relationship, no one has come along and made him think “Wow.” “Until I have that, I’m not really going to settle for less,” Tom explained.
“Not in a bad way, but the next person I get with, I want to marry.
Revealing what turns him off, Tom said “stuck up” people are amongst the things that give him the “ick.” He said: “They can be a 10/10 but if they’re stuck up… another one for me is bad oral hygiene and a random one is ‘birthday make-up’ – you know when make-up is done professionally for an event and it’s just too much, like blue eyeshadow and stuff? Girls don’t need that.”
The 6’5” heartthrob also revealed his dream dinner party guests would be Ronaldo, Peter Kay and American singer Madison Beer. He added that “buff” actor Zac Efron would be his choice to play him in a film.
Tom also revealed the extent of his relationship with former Manchester United footballer Savage. He said: “I just have such a good relationship with him. I see him as a mate.”
Macclesfield FC released a statement on Instagram ahead of Tom’s appearance in Love Island, explaining the goal-scorer had been granted an “an extended period of leave.” The statement reads: “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 and has expressed his unwavering desire to return to the Club after the show.”
Appearing as a pundit on BT Sport, Savage admitted the club – who currently sit eight points clear at the top of the table – had been getting “a little bit of criticism” for letting Tom temporarily leave. He added: “How can you deprive a young man the opportunity to hopefully earn lucrative amounts of money and change him and his family’s life.”
Love Island airs daily at 9pm on ITV2 and ITVX.
• 'I don't know what to say': Lying paedophile dumbfounded after police show him indisputable evidence of his vile crimes
• 'I risked everything on my dream. Covid and Putin have turned it to a nightmare'
• 'Be under no illusions about how close you have come to prison today': Greater Manchester criminals who avoided jail by a whisker
• 'Dad left, mum turned to drink, we were torn apart - all because of a serial rapist who must never be set free'
• Kym Marsh 'screamed at' during meal at Manchester diner with Corrie pal and husband Scott