Wrexham: American tourism boost for Reynolds and McElhenney's club as the side verges on promotion

  • Ashley and Nicole have travelled from Virginia and said they have "never seen anything like this"

North Wales football club Wrexham are preparing for one of its biggest matches in its 158-year history as it looks to end 15 years of hurt to a long-awaited return to the Football League.

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have gained the club and the city a huge following from overseas after purchasing the club in 2020.

Fans from across the pond are set to descend on Wales this weekend ahead of the team's potential promotion game when they take on Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Victory over the play-off chasing side would secure the National League title and a return to League Two for the first time since 2008.

In February 2021, Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney completed a £2million takeover of the club.

It was met with some scepticism, with many fans wondering what the actors knew about football.

Reynolds and McElhenney made a list of pledges to fans, with three of those sticking in the mind - 'win,win,win'. 

Phil Parkinson's side have won 33 of their 44 National League games since the takeover.

Wrexham have won 33 out of the last 44 games Credit: PA

Remarkably, the side have picked up 107 points and there are still two fixtures remaining.

That has all but secured promotion and a return to League Two after a 15-year absence, with Wrexham needing just one more win to get over the line.

After sitting on the periphery of British football's consciousness, they have since become a household name in the United States. 

Joe Donoghue has travelled over to Wrexham from Alabama and said he has had "such a wonderful time in the city" since arriving ahead of the crunch match this Saturday.

Joe travelled from America to support Wrexham in person this Saturday

He told ITV's Good Morning Britain he was drawn to the club after watching Reynolds' and McElhenney's documentary 'Welcome to Wrexham'.

"The biggest thing that grabbed me was watching the documentary. You could tell what the atmosphere was like, what Rob and Ryan were trying to do with the community and all I wanted to do was come over and experience it first hand.

"I talked to my wife about how I wanted to experience it and it was her suggestion for me to come over!"

"I was a football fan before I saw the documentary - I support Atlanta Utd, I go to a few of their games a year so I was already a pretty decent football fan. But then I reached the point after the documentary where I was getting up at 6am to listen to commentary of the Wrexham games."

Daisha gets up at 6am to watch the games from her home in Alabama

Another fan who will be doing exactly that is Daisha, from Alabama, who became hooked after watching documentary too.

"Once I started watching, I was done, I was hooked. The people they featured were so genuine and once I started watching the matches, I started connecting with others fans. The community is incredible and the people are incredible

"The local fans have introduced me to foods and helped me to learn a little bit of Welsh!"

Wrexham have faced huge ups and downs of non-league football over the last 15 years, but that could be set to change with Saturday's match just around the corner.

Andy Roberts who runs the Wrexham Sports and Social Club said there was "so much electricity" in the city and that the promotion fight has "given everyone something to focus on".

He has also noticed an increase in international tourists visiting the city.

"We're getting fans from everywhere - USA, Canada, we've had Australian fans, we've even had even South Walians coming up here to watch Wrexham!"

Shaun Winter makes the This Is Wrexham podcast and said he was feeling "nervous" ahead of the game.

"Nervous. Apprehensive. Excited. All the hard work the lads have put in - this town is going to go boom if we go up.

"It's in our hands. I believe and the whole town believes, we've broke records, let's do it in style at home."