What is it like to experience agony and passion supporting a soccer club from a high-profile celebrity that never thought he would experience. Back in 2020, Rob McElnenney asked star actor Ryan Reyolds to take ownership of the football club Wrexham, a small club that currently plays in the fifth tier of English Football.
During their process of taking full ownership of the club in 2021, they filmed their process in the Hulu documentary “Welcome to Wrexham”, which shows the agony and passion of supporting a soccer club. Their goal since taking over the club was to bring them back into the top four tiers of English Football. Despite some struggles, Wrexham were one game away last season to that goal. However, they lost in the playoff match that left them still stuck in the National League.
This season Wrexham have been on unbelievable form. They currently hold the tiebreaker for first place in the league. If they stay in first come April, they will automatically go to League Two, their first promotion since 2008. Reynolds and McElnenney have given the small town of just 61,603 hope for their football club after years of hardship.
Wrexham have also been on a surprising run in the FA Cup tournament. The FA Cup is one of the domestic cups in England football. It is open to all nine levels of the English football tiers. They began their first-round match with a win against league rivals Oldham Athletic 3-0. This followed an easy second-round win against sixth tier Farnborough 4-1. However, they shocked the English football world after defeating Championship 13th place Coventry City, who play in the second tier and the second level of professional soccer in English football, 4-3 in a boxing match of a finish.
This led to Wrexham advancing to the fourth round of the FA Cup. They would face off Championship 2nd place and English Premiere League promotion sitters Sheffield United last Sunday in Wrexham. Co-owner Ryan Reynolds was in attendance and witnessed one of the craziest rollercoaster games of his life thus far, witnessing yet again, agony and passion for the sport. Just before the match he spoke with BBC Sports about the level of confidence he had that Wrexham will be the team that comes out in front.
“I get nervous for a match like today,” Reynolds said to BBC Sports. “Sheffield United are three leagues above us, 70 teams above us. It’s a classic David vs Goliath. You guys know this more than anybody on earth, this is football. This is the beautiful game. And I’m going to go on record and say there’s a chance albeit a slim chance that Sheffield United pulls off a miracle today!”
This will be one of the hardest teams Wrexham have faced in a long time. It began with Sheffield taking an early lead in just the second minute of the match. However, Wrexham eventually came back to tie in the second half, which followed with another goal to take the lead.
This had everyone, including Reynolds, on their feet. Shortly after, Sheffield responded back with a goal to level the game back up. Leave it up to Wrexham’s main striker Paul Mullins to score in the 86th minute, giving the club hope of an upset. Unfortunately, this feeling didn’t last as Sheffield tied at the last seconds of injury time to end the match 3-3.
Reynolds, who was in agony and passion after the game, took to twitter after the match and said, “That was one of the most exciting things I’ve EVER seen.” Several pictures and videos showed the emotions the Deadpool star demonstrated watching his club almost pull off one of the greatest upsets in the FA Cup. Even his wife Blake Lively came out to say it was worth watching.
“I brought ESPN+ today just to watch my husband experience crippling anxiety live. Worth it.” via Blake Lively said Instagram.
McElnenney missed the trip as he was at home supporting his hometown team Philadelphia Eagles head to the Super Bowl.
This proves what soccer can do to an unlikely fan who never thought would get involved in the sports. Before taking ownership of Wrexham Reynolds was not a big soccer fan… until now.
Wrexham travels to Bramall Lane on Feb 7 for the replay match for the final spot in the fifth round.