FORMER Barnsley FC academy player Tom Clare is heading into the Love Island villa.

The 23-year-old attacker played for Barnsley until 2018 and was hit by a string of injuries before his move to Bradford City.

Born in the town, Tom attended Darton College as a youngster and currently plays with Macclesfield FC alongside former Barnsley full back Zeki Fryers.

He’s going into the Love Island villa as a ‘bombshell’, with fans having the chance to vote who they want to see in their first.

A statement from his current club said: “Macclesfield FC can confirm that club have granted Tom Clare an extended period of leave in order to appear in this year’s Love Island competition.

“Tom approached us with the request a number of weeks ago and we’re 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 incredibly opportunity that this represents for both him and his family on a personal level.”

Tom said he’s looking for a wife on the show.

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“Since my ex, no-one’s really come to me and I’ve thought, ‘wow’.

“Until I have that, I’m not going to settle for less.

“Not in a bad way, but the next person I get with, I want to marry.”