LOVE Island star Tom Clare returned to Barnsley for the first time since leaving the villa last week - and his mum says she couldn’t be prouder.
After being in a couple with 22-year-old Samie Elishi from London, Tom made it to the final earlier this month.
He was heavily tipped to win the whole thing and walk away from the show with his share of £50,000 - but fell short at the final hurdle.
The 23-year-old striker played for Barnsley FC 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 non-league Macclesfield FC.
His mum, Maxine Clare, told the Chronicle she and her husband Jonathan were really happy to see Tom back at the Wentworth Arms in Mapplewell for ITV2’s reunion show, which aired on Sunday.
She said: “It was a little strange at first but after a while both myself and Jonathan couldn’t wait for 9pm as we’d had no contact from him since January 5.
“That’s because they had their mobile phones take from them and they didn’t get them back until they returned to the UK.
“He was certainly himself on the programme that’s for sure - all his family and friends were behind him and are very proud.
“It was fabulous to have him back in Barnsley.
“A lot of people hadn’t even heard of Barnsley or Macclesfield FC so it was great to get some publicity.
“I saw that the reunion show was watched by 3.4 million people.”
Maxine added that Tom is hoping to be back playing football at the start of next season, despite his new-found fame.
“Tom said it was amazing to be in the villa,” she added.
“He’s enjoyed spending some time with Samie and is hoping to be back playing for Macclesfield at the start of next season.”