Three years into their unlikely ownership of Welsh soccer club Wrexham and the enthusiasm of Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney is far from fading.
“You come off the pitch after scoring a goal,” Wrexham striker Steven Fletcher says with a smile, “and Ryan texts you before my wife does.”
Reynolds ushered in the new year by announcing news of contract extensions handed to two of Wrexham’s top players, Paul Mullin and Elliot Lee. On New Year’s Day, he used social media to send his best wishes to two opposition players injured during a match against Wrexham that afternoon.
“The love for this club and town: Indescribable,” Reynolds posted to his 21.5 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, after the 4-1 win over Barrow in front of a season-high attendance of 12,233 fans at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground — a remarkable figure given the team is still only playing in English soccer’s fourth tier.
Promoted from the fifth-tier National League to much fanfare at the end of last season, Wrexham — a club that has gained global notoriety because of the profile of its owners and being the subject of a popular fly-on-the-wall TV series, Welcome to Wrexham — is now making a run at the League Two title in a bid to get up to the third division.
The team is in third place, two points off the lead after more than half of the season. Three clubs will gain automatic promotion so Wrexham fans are daring to dream again. Suddenly, the ultimate goal of Reynolds and McElhenney — getting Wrexham into the top-tier Premier League — might not be so fanciful, after all.
“The hype about the place is fantastic,” said the 36-year-old Fletcher, who has played in the Premier League with Sunderland and enjoyed international soccer with Scotland. “When you come in, even for just training days, there’s loads of people around the stadium.