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Love Island 2021: Brad McClelland pictured in football throwback

Brad was a ‘handful’ on the pitch, apparently (Picture: North News / NNP)

The stars of Love Island may all be gleaming white teeth and six packs now, but pre-reality TV and the advent of social media, they were just regular teens like the rest of us.

That includes Brad McClelland who, before his days of a mahogany tan and chiselled abs, was a budding teenage footballer with an enviable mop of flowing hair.

Pictures have emerged of Brad playing for New Hartley Juniors at the age of 15, with club officials describing him as a ‘handful’ on the pitch. 

Brad, from Northumberland, spent two and a half years with the club but his progress was hindered when he suffered a knee injury.

Mick Maley, who was the club secretary at the time, told the News Post Leader: ‘He was a real handful for us. He was 6ft 2ins at 16. He was a giant, a great leader.

‘He was committed as he would travel all the way down from Amble to play for us.’

Maley added that Brad was a ‘big unit’ and ‘knew where the goal was’, saying: ‘He was a genuine guy but a quiet lad which is why I was surprised to see he was going on Love Island.’

Dated: 02/07/2021 LOVE ISLAND 2021 STAR Brad McClelland pictured playing for his local football team New Hartley Juniors.

Look at that head of hair (Picture: North News & Pictures Ltd nort)
Brad is now looking for love in the villa (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

Brad had been recommended to New Hartley Juniors by a scout at Newcastle United, and after his time with the side came to an end, he signed with Alnwick Town before moving ti Ashington AFC in 2014, when he was 19 years old.

His former coaches and teammates have wished him luck in the villa, with Amble AFC, who Bead also played for, writing in a Facebook post: ‘Big shout out to our very own Brad McClelland. The Amble hunk will do us and Northumberland very proud. He’s always a big character in the changing rooms, we’re sure he will be a bigger one in the villa. Let’s all get behind him and make it a cracking summer for him.’

Now 26, Brad works as a labourer and is hoping to score (sorry) with the ladies in the Love Island villa.

Brad and Faye are going nowhere (Picture: ITV/Shutterstock)

He is currently coupled up with Faye Winter but that romance went downhill fast when Brad kissed her in a game when told to kiss the islander he fancied the least.

Brad then set his sights on Chloe Burrows, but Chloe was left exasperated as the islander talked at length about himself without asking her a question.

He’ll have to step it up if he wants to remain in the game, though, as the arrival of two new bombshells has set the cat among the pigeons.

Faye and Sharon Gaffka went on dates with Welsh brickie Liam Reardon and bucket hat entrepreneur Chuggs Wallis respectively on last night’s show, and tonight, the girls will have their say in the first recoupling of the series.

Love Island continues at 9pm on ITV2. 


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