Tuesday 17th November 2020
The famous Sir Stanley Matthews kicked for Wrexham, as did Liverpool legend Ian Rush. The AFC now only plays in the fifth division, and the stadium has seen better days. Now Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds is buying the club. And doesn’t just have sporting plans.
Hollywood glamor in Wales: US film star Ryan Reynolds and his fellow actor Rob McElhenney discovered their hearts for the Wrexham AFC and bought the fifth-rate amateur club for the equivalent of just under 2.8 million euros. And they want to pay tribute to the history of the 156-year-old workers’ association with a self-produced documentary series. But why? The long club tradition is said to have particularly impressed and fascinated Reynolds, known from the blockbusters “Green Lantern” and “Deadpool”. “We feel honored and start working immediately,” said the 44-year-old in a video in which he thanked the members for the decision in favor of his plan.
1809 of more than 2000 voters voted for the new owner, the necessary approval of the national football association is considered certain. As Reynolds further announced, he is looking forward to “seeing as many games as possible live and having a beer with the fans”. So that not only players, coaches and the 135,000 inhabitants of the industrial city come across as cinematic, the two investors also want to invest in the infrastructure.
The second oldest stadium in the world is to be renovated
The aging Racecourse Ground is to be restored true to the original. The cult site with a capacity of 15,500 is the second oldest stadium in the world, and horse races were held there as early as 1807. The big football, however, always pulled past Wrexham AFC. After all, the club is a record Welsh cup winner with 23 titles, eight times they have even qualified for the European Cup. Chroniclers noted a sensational FA Cup victory over Arsenal in 1992.
Perhaps the legend of Stanley Matthews Reynolds and McElhenney lured from sunny California to the rather inhospitable north of Wales. The English football legend, later raised to the nobility by the Queen, was stationed in Wrexham during the war and occasionally stormed for the AFC. For “Sir Stan” the club was more of a transition club, for Ian Rush the end of a glamorous career. The top striker of Liverpool FC, Europe’s most successful goalscorer of the year with 32 goals in 1984, remembered his Welsh roots 14 years later and let his career end in Wrexham.