The mystery appears to have been solved about where global superstar Justin Bieber has been staying while performing in Manchester.
A trail of clues led The Chronicle to a £4.75m futuristic house on Helsby Hill, near Helsby , complete with helipad, indoor pool and football pitch, where it would seem the Canadian pop idol has been hanging around during his three-date gig at Manchester Arena.
A handful of dedicated followers of Bieber descended on the hotel where blacked-out vehicles and members of Bieber’s security team were present in the car park complete with earpieces and walkie talkies.
But it was eagled-eyed Chronicle readers who helped solve the puzzle after realising the van we pictured in an online story about excitement focused on the hotel was one of the very same vehicles seen at Hill Road North, Helsby Hill, where Widnes Vikings chairman Steve O’Connor owns a space age house which is currently on the market.
When The Chronicle arrived at the property our reporter was immediately confronted by the same security staff seen the day before at the Doubletree. We were advised to leave the area immediately with the suggestion there would be plenty of opportunities to take photos of Mr Bieber at the Manchester gig that night.
Bieber appears to be in a grumpy mood because it was at that concert where he threw down his microphone and walked off stage unhappy at his fans screaming in the gaps between songs. But it surely can’t have been anything to do with his luxurious temporary residence which is like something out of a James Bond movie due to its semi-underground construction and ultra-modern design.
Built for businessman Steve O’Connor and his family, it is called Steppingstone in homage to American musician Bruce Springsteen whose name means Steppingstone in old Dutch.
The property boasts open-plan living space and five bedrooms plus state-of-the-art technology including keyless doors and fingerprint recognition.
It features an indoor pool heated to 31 degrees, a jacuzzi from which you can watch TV, a sauna and steam room, gym area, 10 bathrooms and private living quarters for staff.
Outside there is a five-a-side football pitch, zip-wire, adventure playground, tree house and covered American pool room.
Bieber fever has gripped the region because he has been performing at Manchester Arena where he made his final appearance on Sunday (October 23) as part of his Purpose World Tour. Last Tuesday he took part in a recording session at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool as adoring fans gathered outside.
Such is the lure of the 22-year-old hearthrob that two of his teenage girl fans travelled all the way from Menai Bridge, Anglesey, but with no luck despite hours of waiting around in the cold. The teens, aged 14 and 17, were losing faith the pop star was staying there in spite of spotting his drivers, chef and dancers.
One 19-year-old superfan, from Runcorn, went to the lengths of booking a room in the hotel with her mum and also spied Bieber’s staff but sadly not her hero.
The teen, who wishes only to be known as Ciara, went to all three of Bieber’s Manchester gigs and saw him outside the recording studio in Liverpool. She has liked Bieber since she was 13 but is coy about the global star’s appeal.
“I don’t know what it is,” she said. Asked whether it was about him or his music, she replied: “It used to be him.”
Her mum explained that Ciara was so smitten on Bieber that she had seen him in concert in New York, London only last week and has tickets to gigs in Dublin and Barcelona.
But there has been controversy due to Bieber becoming frustrated with his screaming fans at the Manchester concerts.
“Try and stay as quiet as possible,” he is reported to have told his audience at the Thursday gig. “You can scream as much as you want afterwards but while I’m singing try and stay quiet.”
Ciara’s mum, who runs a business in Frodsham, commented: “I think at the moment he is getting a little bit misunderstood. He’s being a bit blunt and it’s coming across as rude. He tried to explain it better last night and he did say ‘I’m not good at communicating, I’m trying to learn’.”
Edward Cross, general manager of the Doubletree by Hilton, was unable to confirm whether Bieber or his entourage had been staying at the Hoole hotel.
He told The Chronicle: “I am not able to comment about any guests. It’s hotel policy to respect everyone’s privacy.”