Cold day, warm wishes: Mike Walker was selling Bradford scarfs and flags yesterday close to the team’s stadium.  *Photo by James Burton
Cold day, warm wishes: Mike Walker was selling Bradford scarfs and flags yesterday close to the team’s stadium. *Photo by James Burton
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From CedarBridge student to Bradford pin-up — Nahki Wells’ journey, in that sense at least, was complete yesterday.

In a bitterly-cold, working-class city of bingo halls, curry houses and bookies, the 22-year-old Bermudian’s face was everywhere — literally — as Wells fever took hold.

Fans flocked to the official club store at Valley Parade to buy their Nahki masks ahead of the Capital One Cup final against Swansea on Sunday.

His merchandise is the most in-demand of all the players — and it’s clear his appeal is widespread.

The Devonshire man’s status as a fans’ favourite was fully evident. Children jumped at the chance to pose with his shirt, while hardened, cynical fans nodded their approval. He’s even a housewives’ choice; one lady suggesting we swap jobs for the next few days so she could “follow Nahki up close”.

Store manager Paul Stevens said: “Nahki’s is the most popular mask by far. It’s the same with the shirt as well — at the start of the season his sold more than the whole team put together.”

In the pubs — another sanctuary of the dedicated Bradford City fan — the talk was more of a skilful, speedy performer destined for greater things.

Simon Crabtree even performed his City song especially for the Bermuda Sun — Wells is in the lyrics, of course — at The Sparrow pub, a renowned fans’ drinking hole a short walk from the team’s ground.

“Nahki’s been our best player for the past 18 months,” he said.

Wells, if as expected he plays on Sunday, will become the first Bermudian to play in a major cup final on Sunday (kick-off 12pm Bermuda) and only the third from the country to grace the famous Wembley stadium.