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By ESPN Staff

Take That! Robbie to bail out the Vale?

Pop star Robbie Williams has become a 'significant' shareholder in Port Vale.

The singer is a lifelong fan of the cash-strapped Coca-Cola League One club.

'Although I can't be at the Vale often enough, my investment is just to say that my heart is still there and I'm a huge supporter. I'm really excited about what we may be able to do with the club in the future,' said Williams.

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt said: 'I'm extremely pleased and excited that Robbie has invested in the club. It clearly shows that he cares about Port Vale FC and its future.

'It's now up to the board and all at Port Vale FC to ensure his investment is used wisely in helping to secure the future of the club.'

Bratt added: 'Robbie has supported Port Vale since he was a lad and we are delighted with today's announcement.

'He has bought the remaining shares in the club and, while we will not go into detail about his investment, he has become a significant shareholder.'

Williams, who grew up in Stoke-on-Trent, follows the fortunes of his beloved Port Vale despite living thousands of miles away in Los Angeles.

The former Take That singer has previously admitted he would love to be a director of the club one day.

'My heart strings have definitely been pulled hearing about Port Vale's problems,' he said in one interview.

'I've been a Port Vale fan all my life. When I was younger I was in the Railway Paddock and I used to dream about sitting in the chairman's box.'

Williams kicks off his 2006 World Tour in South Africa in April.

At the beginning of this month, Port Vale had £260,000 worth of shares remaining and Williams is believed to have snapped up the majority of these.

Bratt said: 'We have agreed not to discuss the figures but Robbie has certainly put in enough for us to buy a new player.'