One Direction star Liam Payne comforted British diver Tom Daley when he was targeted by cruel online taunts following his performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The 18-year-old athlete, who lost his father to cancer last year (11), narrowly missed out on winning a medal in the synchronised diving event over the summer (12) and was distraught when a user wrote, "You let your dad down I hope you know that".

Kind-hearted pop star Payne reached out to Daley over the nasty message and the pair has been firm friends ever since.

Daley tells British newspaper the Daily Star, "I'm really good mates with Liam - we actually became mates after the Twitter thing when that guy gave me abuse. He called me up and told me not to let it bother me, which was really supportive of him. Since then we've become close mates and usually on a typical boys' night, you'll find him and me down at (nightclub) Funky Buddha having a few drinks and a dance."