Our communications assistant Sophie Platt (who happens to be from Wrexham) looks at the unlikely connection between her home-town team and two Hollywood stars.
Wrexham is a small town in the north east of Wales. It is home to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a world heritage site, as well as Wrexham Association Football Club.
Founded in 1864, the club is the third oldest professional soccer club in the world with its home, the Racecourse, being the oldest international football ground in the world still in use. The club’s first game, on 22nd October 1864, was against The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade which they lost 2-1. The club has continued to grow from here and has become a success and crucial part of Wrexham.
Although only a small-town club, they are one of five Welsh football clubs who play in the English league. They are currently in the fifth tier of the English game – the National League, playing teams such as Stockport, Torquay United and Notts County. In 2013, the club won their way to Wembley and played Grimsby Town in the final of the FA Trophy, where they were triumphant. To this day, they still have some of the best support for any club in their league, with excellent attendance from the fans.
Ryan Reynolds, as most know, is a Canadian actor who is probably most famous for his role in Deadpool (2016). Rob McElhenney is an American actor, famous for writing and starring in the TV sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (2005-2021). The two friends apparently did their research, which resulted in them buying Wrexham. The pair are rumoured to invest £2m into the club straight away as well as having more plans for the future. Reynolds is a successful businessman, already owning a million-dollar gin company, and McElhenney has a love for sports. This combination could be the key to Wrexham’s future success.
Wrexham is currently a fan-owned club and has been for a number of years. The club in recent years has had its difficulties with money, with one of its previous owners having to sell it to Glyndŵr University. Hearing that Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are interested in buying the beloved club is a shock to everyone.
The majority of the fans are ecstatic with the news, especially those who are fans of Reynolds and McElhenney. But is this going to be beneficial for the club? Peter Jones, an ex-board member of Wrexham AFC said: “There are two important points for me though, and that is the Trust must keep the lease to both the ground and training ground and charge the new owners accordingly. We still have 95 years left on the lease and a new lease with the Groves, it’s important that they stay in the hands of the Trust, because if the new owners did make a mess of things the Trust would still have the ground and training ground to start over again.”
When asked whether he thinks there will be any criticism over Reynolds and McElhenny, he said: “There’s no doubt they’ve brought plenty of focus on Wrexham already, and with the potential support the club have, they have the tools to take this club as far as they want to. However, it all comes down to how genuine these guys are, because the fans of our club have been through enough upheaval since the turn of the Millennium with the club (Racecourse) being saved in the High Court. It’s about time we all had some good news.”
The town and club are not ‘famous’. So why Wrexham? People are speculating about the possible reasons for choosing the club. Some believe that maybe the recent success of the internet star Bootlegger, who has put Wrexham on the map by filming himself and fans at matches. Others believe that Reynolds and McElhenney are just looking for a small investment. None of us can say for sure, however we are extremely grateful and excited that they did choose us.
Peter Jones concluded, “if these two gentlemen are serious about their intentions for the club then I’ll be right behind them”. So will we all.
Weltch Media provides a range of communications services for sports teams, organisations and individuals.