Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds donate to Oldham FC boss after direct appeal on Granada Reports

Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds act of generosity towards the owner of Oldham Athletic Credit: PA Images

Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have donated $2,000 to the Chairman of Oldham Athletic ahead of his latest challenge to row the Atlantic.

Frank Rothwell, who is 73, is attempting to break his own record as the oldest man to row 3,000 miles solo from the Canary Islands to Antigua, in aid of Alzheimer's Research UK.

It follows a direct appeal by Rothwell on ITV Granada Reports, for donations from the famous Wrexham FC owners.

Rothwell was asked on Granada Reports in October 2023, if he had approached the Wrexham owners, whose club were in the same league as Oldham before the Welsh team were promoted, for a donation.

The Oldham boss used the opportunity to make a direct appeal to the Hollywood pair joking, "we would love you to make a donation".

Frank Rothwell broke the record for the oldest man to row the Atlantic when he previously took on the challenge aged 70

Reynolds and McElhenney have since donated the money which equates to about £1,600 to Rothwell's cause - which has now raised more than £63,000.

The donation on Just Giving, included a message which read: 'Go get 'em Frank.'

Hollywood stars Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds donate $2,000 dollars to Frank Rothwell's rowing challenge

It is not the first time Reynolds and McElhenney have responded to comments made by Frank on ITV Granada Reports.

In November 2022, ahead of their clash in the FA Cup, Rothwell told Granada he had 'never heard' of the Hollywood pair.

It prompted a response of gentle banter on social media, where they stated "well we've heard of you Frank".

Rothwell, whose family rescued the football club from going out of business, is hoping to raise £1 million for Alzheimers Research UK.

He is undertaking the huge challenge once more in honour of his brother-in-law Roger, who passed away during his first row, and close friend Phill, both of whom died from the disease.

When he completed the row in 2021 aged 70, he became the oldest person to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as "the world's toughest row".

Frank Rothwell took over Oldham Athletic FC in July 2022. Credit: PA Images

He said: "My mate Phill Wiggett passed away this year with Alzheimers and we were best mates, to see him deteriorate was difficult.

"When times get hard and I'm sick of it and had enough of it, particularly with the training, I just think of Phil and that's what motivates me on then."

Frank completed the previous Atlantic Ocean rowing challenge in 56 days, this time he's aiming to complete the 3,000 mile voyage in 49 days.

In 2021, his first rowing challenge was nominated for Granada Reports Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year.

You can find out more about Frank Rothwell's Atlantic challenge and donate here.

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