Ryan Reynolds speaks of his plan to put football club Wrexham AFC ‘on the world stage’

Ryan Reynolds speaks of his plan to put football club Wrexham AFC ‘on the world stage’


Ryan Reynolds speaks of his plan to put football club Wrexham AFC ‘on the world stage’

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC two years, with the two actors dreaming of seeing the football club get all the way to the Premier League in the future

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It might sound like the script of a Hollywood movie, but actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney say they’re determined to turn this particular plotline into a real-life fairytale.

Footballing minnows Wrexham AFC had languished in the lowest professional league for 14 years before the famous pair bought the club. And now they dream of getting them all the way to the Premier League.

After Rob and Ryan paid £2 million for the club two years ago, Wrexham narrowly missed out on League Two promotion last year and are currently fifth in the National League.

But Deadpool and X-Men star Ryan thinks the sky’s the limit. He says: “It really is about putting Wrexham on a world stage. It’s an underdog story and that’s something I love.

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds are keen to get Wrexham AFC all the way to the Premier League


( Action Images via Reuters)

“I’m certainly in if for as long as I can be meaningful and add to the club inexorably marching forward to hopefully one day being in the Championship or the Premier League.

“I know some people might roll their eyes at that notion, but why wouldn’t we look and aim there? What a wonderful and incredible story and journey that would be if we could have that dream realised in a reasonable amount of time.”

The actor, 45, reveals he quickly fell in love with the town. He says: “I’m obsessed with Wrexham. I’ll admit that at the beginning, I was not sceptical – but I wasn’t hooked in the way I am now.

“Part of me wishes I had never found football. I feel like it is legal poison. My joy lives and dies on those Saturdays when the club is playing at the Racecourse Ground or elsewhere and I try not to get wrapped up in it but I do feel like it chews my organs and spits them out each week, win or lose. It is a hell of a ride and there is really nothing like it.”

They bought the club, based in North Wales, two years ago


( AFP via Getty Images)

Rob, best known for comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, agrees. He says: “One of the things that was really attractive about Wrexham was the town reminds me of Philadelphia.

“It’s a working class town. I feel I know those people. I am one of those people.

“My mind was racing when I learned about the English system. The idea that you can get promoted into a league above you or kicked out of the league is incredible.”

It was Rob who first had the idea of buying an U.K club and quickly identified Wrexham, the third oldest professional football club in the world, as one with potential.

He says: “I have a lot of friends who are big into English football and I started watching a bit of it over the pandemic and then just became obsessed by it.

It was Rob who first had the idea of buying a club in the UK


( Action Images via Reuters)

Ryan, pictured with wife Blake Lively, was persuaded to join the endeavour


( Getty Images for Netflix)

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“The more I thought about it and the more I started doing research on some of the lower leagues, I thought, wow, if you had a team that was in a really low division, over the course of four to five to six years couldn’t you theoretically take a team from the lowest league and bring them up to the top?”

But the 45-year-old recalls: “As I start to gather more and more information, I start to realise how expensive it’s going to be. I have TV money but as I start to look at how expensive it actually was to run a football club I realise that I needed more than TV money, I needed superhero movie star money.”

After being persuaded to join his friend in the endeavour, Ryan recalls a less than enthusiastic reaction when he broke the news to his wife, Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively.

They’re set to feature in a new documentary about the club (Credit: Getty Images)

He says: “I remember seeing Blake and saying: ‘I have bad news and I have really bad news… The bad news is I slipped into someone’s DMs again. The really bad news is I might have bought half of a fifth-tier football club in Wales’.”

A new Disney+ documentary series, Welcome To Wrexham, follows the actors’ battle to attract a host of football talent to the Dragons, as well as headaches such as a new £100,000 pitch falling apart.

Rob says: “I’m used to being able to go into a writers room and come out at the end of it knowing what’s going to happen and I don’t know what’s going to happen here.”

Watch Welcome To Wrexham on Disney+ from Thursday.

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