LONDON (AFP) - Spice Girls devotees celebrated the band's reunion tour announced this week -- and none more so than a long-time British superfan with the world's biggest collection of their memorabilia.
Alan Smith Allison, 37, last year quit working for charities to devote himself full-time to showcasing his and several other collectors' thousands of Spice Girl items.
Ahead of opening his latest display in Britain later this month, he said news of the tour had left him "incredibly excited".
"Anything they do I'm there with bells on, front row, singing along," Allison told AFP at London's St Pancras Station, where the pop phenomena filmed their first music video for 1996 hit single "Wannabe".
The best-selling girl band -- minus pop star-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham -- unveiled plans Tuesday for next year's UK tour, which will see them play Wembley Stadium, Britain's biggest venue.
Beckham, who first grew to fame as Posh Spice, confirmed she will not be joining her former bandmates.
"You've got to forgive Victoria if she wants to move on," said Allison, who is not convinced of a mooted surprise appearance at some stage.
"I don't know how easy it would be to cross over from an elite world where you're dealing with Vogue magazine and the biggest fashion houses," he added.
Tickets for the six concerts so far confirmed go on sale Saturday, with the band hinting further dates may yet be added.
‘Be who you want'
Allison, who hails from a farming village in Scotland and now lives in northwest London, said he first bonded with the band's message of empowerment as an insecure teen.
"It wasn't the easiest place growing up being a gay man... and then along came these girls who just said... 'be who you want in life'," he explained. "That just resonated."
Two decades and hundreds of thousands of pounds later, Allison has amassed everything from Spice Girls' dresses and boots to dolls and even branded mopeds, with his entire collection insured for £500,000.
Among his favorite items: all five silver spacesuits worn by the band at their first international concert in Istanbul in the mid-90s.