AS a lifelong fan of Bradford City FC, Ricc Stead is in no doubt there's something special about lower league football. 

The hundreds who make the fortnightly trip to the Recs would agree and there's nothing the 35-year-old wants more than to savour the experience for himself. 

Ricc has cheered on the Wasps from more than 200 miles away every week for nearly two decades and finally landed his own black and gold jersey last month when pal Craig Jardine sent one his way. 

READ MORE: Alloa Stats: How devoted Alloa fan Jonathan Markwell became the club's unofficial stats guru

It was Alloa man Craig, 44, who introduced the homeless officer for Bradford City Council to the delights of part-time football when the pair first bonded over a love for rugby league. 

Not that Ricc took much persuasion and, in a remarkable twist, it's the man from West Yorkshire who cheers Peter Grant's men no matter who they are playing. 

"The funny thing is he's not an Alloa supporter and actually supports Dundee United," Ricc told Advertiser Sport. "I just took an interest in Alloa because he likes to see them doing well and because they are lower league.

"When Alloa play Dundee United I want Alloa to win and he's the other way! 

"Because I am a Bradford City fan and we are historically a lower league side, lower league football is something I take an interest in.

Strathallan Times: Ricc proudly shows off his first Alloa jersey Ricc proudly shows off his first Alloa jersey

"I started to take an interest in results and it just went from there. When they got up to the Scottish Championship they were the only part-time side in the league and I love an underdog being British.

"I asked to get a shirt and Craig sent it down to me."

He added: "You could say there are similarities and when you group up supporting a historically lower league side there is more sense of community and you feel closer to the club and the players."

Ricc, who was an usher at Craig's wedding, isn't the only Alloa fan from afar with Jonathan Markwell - aka Mr Alloa Stats - also cheering on the part-timers from England. 

But, unlike Markwell, Ricc is yet to see for himself why so many opt for the Wee County team and he is counting down the days to a post-pandemic world where his dream can become a reality. 

Strathallan Times: Ricc says his interest peaked in the Wasps during Michael Chopra's Wee County spell Ricc says his interest peaked in the Wasps during Michael Chopra's Wee County spell

He said: "I haven't been to a game yet and hopefully when all of this pandemic has passed and we're allowed to congregate in groups, I will be able to get up and see them.

"I have access to BBC Alba on Sky and can see the games when they are broadcast on there.

"(Alan) Trouten is a player I really like because he is banging the goals in. A few years ago, my interest peaked when they signed Michael Chopra."