Niall Horan has opened up about a stressful encounter with fans that nearly brought him to tears.

In an interview with Apple Music, the 26-year-old said: “I was at a football game in Spain a few years ago, and it was Chelsea versus Atletico Madrid, and I was standing in the Chelsea crowd waiting to go in the turnstiles.”

“And then some fans had realized that I was at the game and went looking for me and found me. They start screaming my name. ‘Niall, Niall!’ In the middle of about 10 thousand Chelsea fans and I was just like, ‘Really?’” 

“I kept my head down. I was trying my best to keep my head down, anyway and I had nowhere to go. And then the football fans turn into football fans, “Ooh, One Direction.” I was just like, ‘Oh, god.’ I nearly cried.

He added that this encounter happened during his period of recovery from a knee operation: “I was on crutches, at the time, as well. So I couldn’t go [anywhere].”

Niall recently discussed what he misses the most about being in a band.

“Sometimes when you’ll be at a gig or something had happened and it would remind you of something that happened onstage years ago, like, ‘Oh, jeez. I wish the boys were here to see that.”

In the same interview, Niall said that he and the boys always forget to tell each other when they’re dropping new songs: “Probably the only thing we don’t talk about is music.”

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