12 footballers and boxers who swapped sport for Love Island, as Halifax Town’s Jamie Allen appears on the ITV show


HALIFAX TOWN footballer Jamie Allen is the latest star to swap sport for a stint on Love Island.

His club confirmed: “Jamie Allen has decided to join the cast of Love Island 2022, making his intentions clear that the opportunity is very important to him.

Halifax Town's Jamie Allen has joined the cast of Love Island

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Halifax Town’s Jamie Allen has joined the cast of Love IslandCredit: Rex
Gemma Owen will be starring in this year's Love Island

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Gemma Owen will be starring in this year’s Love IslandCredit: gem0wen/Instagram
Gemma is the daughter of England football legend Michael Owen

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Gemma is the daughter of England football legend Michael Owen

“The matter will be reviewed on his return.”

He joins Gemma Owen, the daughter of England football legend Michael Owen, who represented Team GB in the past – but appears to have put her career on hold for a shot at infamy.

But they aren’t the first to swap sport for Love Island. Here’s more, and how they fared.

Tommy Fury

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Perhaps the most famous of all sporting contestants, Tyson Fury’s younger brother Tommy starred with Molly-Mae Hague in the 2019 series.

The 23-year-old cosied up to the blonde beauty and they finished as runners-up.

Their romance has continued to blossom – buying a home together – and sparking engagement rumours.

Tommy’s boxing career is also on the up – having dismantled Daniel Bocianski in April.

Boxer Tommy Fury found love with Molly-Mae Hague on Love Island in 2019

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Boxer Tommy Fury found love with Molly-Mae Hague on Love Island in 2019Credit: Instagram
Fury dismanted Daniel Bocianski at Wembley Stadium back in April

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Fury dismanted Daniel Bocianski at Wembley Stadium back in AprilCredit: PA

And he could fight YouTuber Jake Paul next in a money-spinning bout… watch this space.

Chris Hughes

Hughes was a finalist in 2017, after the mad Sunderland fan signed on as a semi-pro footballer with Bourton Rovers FC.

He even won the Gloucestershire Division Two West before he appeared on the telly.

Now, he’s always on – doing a first class job presenting ITV Racing’s coverage and dates golfer Annabel Dinnock.

Chris Hughes (left) celebrates winning the Gloucestershire Division Two West

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Chris Hughes (left) celebrates winning the Gloucestershire Division Two WestCredit: Instagram / Chris Hughes
Hughes dates golfer Annabel Dimmock now and is a presenter on ITV Racing

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Hughes dates golfer Annabel Dimmock now and is a presenter on ITV RacingCredit: Instagram/annabeldimmock

Mike Thalassitis

In 2017, Thalassitis turned his back on a promising football career to find love at Casa Amor.

After starting at Stevenage Town, he had spells at Ebbsfeet United and St Albans.

Mike also was capped at U21 level for Cyprus, and earned a senior call up, until a serious knee injury forced him out.

He retired from football in 2017, appeared on E4’s Celebs Go Dating. Sadly, Thalassitis passed away at the age of 26 in 2019.

Mike Thalassitis tragically took his own life in 2019

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Mike Thalassitis tragically took his own life in 2019Credit: Getty – Contributor

Finn Tapp

Tapp was a 2020 Love Island winner with Paige Turley, which has allowed him to become a reality TV regular ever since.

But before he became famous on the small screen, he was turning out with Oxford City – having previously made his debut for MK Dons aged just 16.

However, he failed to tell his boss he wasn’t going to be at training after securing his slot on Love Island.

It hilariously forced Oxford director Mick Livesey to insist on players inserting reality TV clauses in their contracts.

Finn Tapp appeared as a 16-year-old for MK Dons

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Finn Tapp appeared as a 16-year-old for MK DonsCredit: Getty

Idris Virgo

A hulking super-middleweight boxer, Virgo starred in the fourth series of Love Island.

But, he used the reality TV show to propel his career in the ring.

Four months after appearing on the show, he made his professional boxing debut – and has since risen to 12-0-1 – defeating Adam Trenado in December 2021 in Crystal Palace

Idris Virgo forged a professional boxing career AFTER appearing on Love Island

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Idris Virgo forged a professional boxing career AFTER appearing on Love IslandCredit: Getty

Ovie Soko

Soko, now 31, was the 6ft7in basketball hunk who appeared in the show’s fifth series.

Before that, he played for the Great Britain Men’s national team and was featured in the NBA Draft of 2014, although he wasn’t selected in the first two rounds.

Fame, though, would work wonders for Soko – who finished third in Love Island in 2019.

That same year, he signed a mega deal with online clothing retailer ASOS to produce his own fashion line.

Ovie Soko hooked up with India Reynolds in Casa Amor

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Ovie Soko hooked up with India Reynolds in Casa AmorCredit: Rex

Dennon Lewis

Lewis was a flop on Love Island – appearing for just five days.

His football career has been better, though, with the 25-year-old coming through the youth ranks at Watford.

He then had a loan spell at Crawley Town, played for Falkirk in Scotland, then signed for non-league side Wealdstone in 2019.

The striker was named in the National League South’s team of the season, before signing for Boreham Wood in 2021.

Dennon Lewis flopped on Series five of Love Island

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Dennon Lewis flopped on Series five of Love IslandCredit: Rex Features
Lewis was more successful as a footballer, appearing for Crawley Town

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Lewis was more successful as a footballer, appearing for Crawley TownCredit: Rex Features

Toby Aromolaran

Aromolaran was about to turn out for Hashtag United – the Youtube football team founded by social media star Spencer Owen – before Love Island came calling.

But Owen was cool with it. ”I told the owner and manager, just pulled them up in some filming before pre-season,” Aromolaran said.

“And I said, ‘look, I want to miss pre-season because I think I might be going into the Love Island villa’. The owner, Spencer, was so happy for me, the manager as well.”

After finishing second in series seven, he shacked up with Chloe Burrows.

Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran found love on Love Island

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Chloe Burrows and Toby Aromolaran found love on Love IslandCredit: Instagram

Aaron Simpson

On the books of Wolves as a youngster, Simpson would be released and end up at Hemel Hempstead.

A spell at Maidstone United was followed by a stint with Sutton United in 2020-21.

But he was happy to quit the game for Love Island, where he enjoyed a short-live relationship with Millie Court in series five.

Like Hughes, Simpson works in horse racing as a presenter on Racing TV.

Aaron Simpson beams a smile in series five of Love Island

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Aaron Simpson beams a smile in series five of Love IslandCredit: Rex

Mike Boateng

Alongside England forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Boateng was a star of Sheffield United’s 2013 youth team.

Calvert-Lewin would move on to Everton, but Mike found himself released and he ended up joining the police force.

He played at amateur level, until signing up for Love Island and leaving with Priscilla Anyabu.

They split up during lockdown, and he recently joined the cast of MTV series Celebrity Ex on the Beach.

Mike Boateng has become a reality TV favourite since appearing on Love Island

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Mike Boateng has become a reality TV favourite since appearing on Love IslandCredit: ITV
Luke Trotman and Siannise Fudge split up in 2021 after dating for two years

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Luke Trotman and Siannise Fudge split up in 2021 after dating for two yearsCredit: Instagram

Luke Trotman

Trotman’s career was cut short after suffering a horrific leg break when he played for Luton Town.

He played non league football at St Neots Town, while juggling a banking and finance degree at Loughborough University.

Famously, Trotman would appear on Jamie Vardy’s V9 football course – and was called up to England’s ‘C’ squad, before Love Island beckoned in 2019.

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Luke dated Siannise Fudge, but their relationship would fizzle out in 2021.

The question is now, will Gemma become as famous as this lot?





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