Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ryan Reynolds' once-underdog Welsh football team promoted to English Football League


Ryan Reynolds held his head in his hands. Rob McElhenney leaned forward, took a deep breath and was soon wiping tears from his eyes.

Below hollywood actorThousands of Wrexham fans poured onto the grounds at the Racecourse Ground, lighting red torches and waving Welsh flags.

An ex-but-lucky Welsh soccer club entered global spotlight Its A-list owners were celebrating on Saturday after Wrexham secured promotion to the fourth tier of the English game.

Reynolds and McElhenney, along with actor friend Paul Rudd, were among a crowd of over 10,000 at the Racecourse in North Wales to see Wrexham win the National League title. 3-1 win over Boreham Wood,

At the full-time whistle, Reynolds and McElhenney embraced in the directors’ box and soon, were holding a flag with the words: “Wrexham champions 2022–23.”

They have become soccer fanatics since completing their out-of-anywhere purchase of the club in 2021 for $2.5 million. It has charted the journey of a few actor-led team learning the ropes of sports club ownership.

The second season of the show would have a happy ending, with Wrexham going back into the English Football League – three divisions below the Premier League – for the first time in 15 years.

“One thing that’s kept running through my head over and over again,” Reynolds said, looking at Wrexham’s cheering players and fans, “did people say at the start, ‘Why Wrexham, why Wrexham?’ That’s Wrexham.

Wrexham are four points clear of second-placed Notts County with one round of games remaining, so are guaranteed the only automatic promotion place league two, After being greeted by Reynolds and McElhenny, the Wrexham players raised the league trophy in the middle of the field to the sounds of “We are the Champions”.

Reynolds is best known for starring in the “Deadpool” movies, while McElhenney is the creator of the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” His stated aim when combining to buy Wrexham from its success-hungry fans was to lead the 158-year-old team – the third oldest professional club in the world – to the Premier League and the journey is well underway.

It is Wrexham’s first league title at any level since the old Division Three – then the third tier in the English game – in 1977 and the team have done it in style, collecting an ever-record 110 points and winning 34 of their 45 games. .

And, as is often the case with a club that plays like anybody else, the win was hard-earned after falling inside 44 seconds.

Wrexham equalized in the 15th minute, then the team’s star striker Paul Mullin scored two spectacular goals in the second half to seal the win.

“Paul Mullin is one of the greatest football players in the world,” McElhenney said.

With the title in the bag, the Wrexham fans booed the final few minutes of a match that ended in injury woes for over a decade. Since the turn of the century the club fell into such hard times that the trust of its supporters twice saved the team from going out of business.

“We can feel what this means to the city,” McElhenny said on the field. “It is a moment of celebration for them. It has been the honor of my life to be welcomed into the community for us and to be welcomed into this experience.

Since their unexpected takeover, Reynolds (21 million) and McElhenney (1 million) have used their massive Twitter followings to promote the club and have brought on sponsors such as TikTok, Aviation Gin and Expedia, global brands that are usually not recognized by the United States. But there is no place at this level. Play.

The actor is also living up to the promises he made when he took office, such as improving the stadium and investing heavily in the women’s team. He brought in board members and advisors with experience in top-level football and who made good, sensible decisions.

The industrial city of around 65,000 people, which lies near the north-west English border and close to football hotbeds Liverpool and Manchester, has been bubbling with excitement over the past two years.

Last season, Wrexham lost in the playoffs to miss out on promotion, but made no mistake in being relegated to non-league after a year, where some teams are semi-professional.

Wrexham finished the game in the background with the fans singing along happily, with Reynolds and McElhenny joining in.

Reynolds said, “I’m not sure I can really process what happened tonight.” “I’m still a little speechless.”