Show your support: Andy Hulley was selling Bradford scarfs and flags yesterday at his makeshift stall close to the team’s stadium. *Photos by James Burton
Show your support: Andy Hulley was selling Bradford scarfs and flags yesterday at his makeshift stall close to the team’s stadium. *Photos by James Burton
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Perhaps for the first time I was a genuine novelty yesterday.

“Well I’ve never been asked that before,” was the standard reply.

“Here love, I’m being asked for an interview by a guy from Bermuda!”

My presence in the old mill town of Bradford was met — by the people I approached, at least — with amazement.

So imagine how Nahki Wells feels  —  and he has 18 goals to his name this season, a Wembley final on Sunday and a minimum 30,000 (City’s ticket allocation) ready to scream his name.

“This is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me,” musician and fan Simon Crabtree, who has written a special Wembley song for his team, told me over a pint.

Admittedly, he wasn’t just talking about his chances of getting his composition on Bermudasun.bm — he performed for the BBC earlier and his team could win their first major cup competition in 102 years — but there was no doubting his excitement at meeting a representative of the island.

He wanted to know about Wells’ background, where he comes from, what the island was like? He was also quick to tell me that, in his opinion, the striker won’t belong to the Bantams for too much longer.

“Nahki’s been our best player for 18 months now. When I first saw him I thought ‘he doesn’t deserve to be in the fourth division, he deserves to be playing higher’.

“I hope we don’t lose him obviously but he’s really put himself in the shop window now.”

He added: “I feel so much pride for the city — I really felt it after the Wigan game – the lads fought so hard - they’ve put the pride back into the club and the city.”

Bradford is a tough old place. It’s not rich and, in contrast to Bermuda, it’s not pretty.

But mingling with fans, vendors and bartenders, there is tangible pride and support for their League Two football team. And Bermuda should be proud, too, because their man is evidently at the heart of it.

I could have drunk for free all afternoon at The Sparrow — a pub bedecked with Wembley flags and scarves — such was their gratitude for Wells’ contribution and their fascination for his island roots.

A previous stop at Valley Parade saw the club’s official store manager explain how a young man from Devonshire has become an unqualified fans’ favourite. Apparently, it’s not all about the football.

Paul Stevens said: “I think, and I hope he doesn’t read this, but some of the girls have a bit of a thing for him. He’s charismatic and a striker who’s scoring lots of goals. He’s a good player and I think a lot of the young lads look up to him, too.

“In the big games like against Villa (cup semi-final) he performs particularly well and that really gets fans going and captures their imagination.

“The fact he’s from Bermuda does add a little bit of glamour — we send a lot of stuff over to Bermuda from our online section.”

Stevens has done, he proudly told me, a year’s trade in five weeks, such is the draw of the League Two underdogs’ Capital One Cup cup run, which sees them take on Swansea in the final after slaying the likes of Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa.

The independent vendors were doing a roaring trade as well, although requests for any Wells-specific gear were met with blank looks.

“I’m not a fan mate, just here for money.” Not everyone in this city has caught cup fever, clearly.

Andy Hulley had, though, been outside the ground for two weeks flogging his wares and told me the Wembley jumpers were produced even before the semi-final because he “had an inkling”.

After the psychic vendor it was back to the fans – and the ones who really get Wells — the children. For them he is an idol and when asked to pose with Wells’s shirt and  mask, the goods were snatched in an instant. “Nahki’s great. I can’t wait for Sunday,” said Dominic Anderson, 13.

Bermuda loves Nahki, of course. But so does Bradford.

• Our Wells at Wembley coverage is sponsored by Digicel and Lindo’s