WATCH: Newly-released footage of One Direction star Liam Payne at Wolverhampton Youth Zone event
One of the world's biggest boy band stars made a surprise return to his home city of Wolverhampton to give a £6 million youth project a push in the right direction.
One Direction heart throb Liam Payne was special guest at the 'topping out' ceremony for the city's Youth Zone in Worcester Street.
It is hoped he will become the project's figurehead.
He arrived with his mother and father Geoff and Karen and girlfriend Sophia and said: "Wolverhampton is my home town and I am keen to give something back to the city that gave me a start in life."
Delighted Wolves chairman Steve Morgan whose Foundation is providing significant financial support for the the £6m development, said: "This is fantastic news. The young people of Wolverhampton could not have a better role model to show them the way forward."
After proudly showing VIP guests round the partially completed Youth Zone – called The Way – that is expected to open for business early next year, he declared: "It is marvellous to see it all coming together and see the way it is taking shape.
"I can almost feel the excitement of kids having fun.
"Liam wants to be actively involved and come down to The Way when he can after it has opened. They would obviously have to be surprise visits.
"With his connections he could be a huge help. He is really excited about the project. He is a world wide icon who wants to put a bit back and we could not be more delighted."
Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey is among the founder patrons who are personally giving cash backing to the scheme.
The father of four explained: "It was a no brainer.
"I am putting something back into the city where I live, work and spend all my time. I felt compelled to lend my personal support.
"At Wolves we support the community and this is something we genuinely believe in both as a football club and as individuals.
"This is going to be fantastic for the city and its young people."
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