The little town of Wrexham has gone from a small Welsh town to a city known across the world thanks to the Hollywood owners of its football club.
A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham AFC in 2020.
The overwhelming reaction from homeowners in Wrexham to the buzz created in the Welsh city is that ‘it’s great’.
The pair have brought not only a touch of glamour to Wrexham AFC but also success.
Last week the Hollywood pair watched as the team secured promotion back to English Football League after a 15-year wait.
Perhaps more importantly for people living in the area, which gained city status last year, the upturn in the club’s fortunes has brought hope of a better future.
Wayne Jones, landlord of the Turf Hotel pub, which sits next door to the club’s Racecourse Ground, told MailOnline: ‘The town really needed a shot in the arm and a pick-me-up.
Wayne Jones (pictured), landlord of the Turf Hotel, which sits next door to the club’s Racecourse Ground, told MailOnline: ‘The town really needed a shot in the arm and a pick-me-up’
Cobi Wright, 18, (right) works alongside his uncle Al-Al Wan, 58, (left) owner of the Sarah restaurant and takeaway, which regularly dishes up burger and kebabs to hungry Wrexham fans
Joanne Lee, assistant manager at Gerrards family bakers, says it’s been ‘mental’ and busy most days. Pictured: Gerrards bakers Joanne Lee, Julie Tattom and Nicola Lancelot (left to right)
Brendan Murphy, Gerard Holohan, Michael Cummins and Conor Healy (left to right), four friends from Ireland, had come to Wales on a business trip. But they all wanted to stop off in Wrexham before catching the ferry home from Holyhead
People in Wrexham, north Wales, have described how the success of the football club Ryan Reynolds owns has had a knock on boost to the city. Pictured: Wrexham’s stadium The Racecourse Ground with The Turf pub in front of it
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham in early 2021. They are seen at Monday’s game
‘So this has come at exactly the right time.’
Viewers have been able to follow the club’s fortunes on the FX docuseries ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ and it’s led to an influx of tourists from all over the world.
‘We get up to 40 tourists a day coming to the pub,’ said Wayne.
‘They come from all over Ireland, Canada, the US.
‘It’s obviously a big positive for everybody in Wrexham, as well as us.
‘And we’re very grateful for that.’
The pub, which is featured in the docuseries, completely ran out of food one day last August after Reynolds tweeted: ‘Highly recommend and burger and a beer with Wayne Jones at The Turf.’
Wayne barely has time for a break these days, such is the interest in all things Wrexham.
‘It’s been a little overwhelming at times,’ he said
‘We’ve been so busy, but I wouldn’t change if for the world.
The Turf pub, which is featured in the docuseries, completely ran out of food one day last August after Reynolds tweeted: ‘Highly recommend and burger and a beer with Wayne Jones (pictured) at The Turf.’ Wayne barely has time for a break these days, such is the interest in all things Wrexham
Will Ferrell earlier this year enjoying a pint in The Turf pub which is right next to the Racecourse ground and features in Welcome To Wrexham
For Jeff Mort (pictured), a Wrexham fan for 56 years, seeing the team back in the football league for the first time since 2008 has been cathartic experience
‘There is such a positive feeling around at the moment.
‘The club’s success will be good economically for a town that was looking like it had had fallen on hard times.’
Customers in the pub included Zach Fritz, 45, from Portland, Oregon, who’s been in UK with four football-loving friends to watch their favourite teams in the Premier League.
They tried to visit the pub on Monday but found it closed it sold out of beer due to the weekend’s promotion celebrations.
But he decided to return while his friends went hiking in Snowdonia because it would be a ‘fun’ thing to do after watching the docuseries.
Goalkeeper Ben Foster saved a 97th-minute penalty to hold off Notts County and seal a 3-2 win for Wrexham on Monday
The goalkeeper was embraced by a stunned Ryan Reynolds in the tunnel after the climax
‘Soccer has always struggled to get much prominence in the US,’ he said.
‘But Ryan Reynolds is such a huge name it’s created a lot of interest in the docuseries.
‘I’ve watched games with my friends at Arsenal, Leicester, Crystal Palace and Everton.
‘But the Wrexham story has created a real buzz among soccer fans in the US.’
Michael Cummings, 43, Conor Healy, 26, Gerard Holohan, 59, and Brendan Murray, four friends from Ireland, had come to Wales on a business trip.
But they all wanted to stop off in Wrexham before catching the ferry home from Holyhead.
‘We’re all big football fans, so it seemed a natural detour,’ said Michael.
John Windsor, enjoying a drink at a nearby coffee shop, who lives in nearby Ruaon and works in Wrexham, also believes the city is ‘buzzing’ at the moment
Cobi Wright said: ‘Every time there’s a match on we get lots of customers. ‘We had to stay open for an extra two hours last Saturday when the team got promoted. The city centre has been busy in general, it’s a really nice environment’
‘Having watched docuseries I couldn’t go home without coming to Wrexham.’
Conor added: ‘We also wanted to come to the Turf too.
‘It’s been a great.’
Shops and businesses in the town centre have also noticed an increase in sales boosted by tourism and the football team’s success.
Joanne Lee, assistant manager at Gerrards family bakers, says it’s been ‘mental’ and busy most days.
‘We’ve had Americans and Canadians in, people from all over,’ she said.
‘Match days we’ve been really busy with fans buying pies and sandwiches and families stopping to eat inside.
‘It’s been great for the town and great for us.’
She added that some empty stores nearby had recently been snapped up by businesses attracted to city centre.
Julie Tattum, 62, who also works at the bakers, said: ‘The town centre has been busy every day.
‘Everywhere is just buzzing.
‘There’s been a real uplift because of the football.
‘It’s put Wrexham on the map.’
John Windsor, enjoying a drink at a nearby coffee shop, who lives in nearby Ruaon and works in Wrexham, also believes the city is ‘buzzing’ at the moment.
‘I think the football will be a positive thing for Wrexham in general,’ John, 55, said.
‘I’m very happy Hollywood has come to Wrexham.’
Cobi Wright, 18, works alongside his uncle Al-Al Wan, 58, owner of the Sarah restaurant and takeaway, which regularly dishes up burger and kebabs to hungry Wrexham fans.
He said: ‘Every time there’s a match on we get lots of customers.
‘We had to stay open for an extra two hours last Saturday when the team got promoted.
‘The city centre has been busy in general, it’s a really nice environment.’
Al-Al said: ‘I think it’s been good for us and everyone else.
‘Hopefully, it will be get even better.
‘The owners of the football club have really helped bring people here.
‘Everybody knows about Wrexham now.’
For Jeff Mort, a Wrexham fan for 56 years, seeing the team back in the football league for the first time since 2008 has been cathartic experience
‘I saw the them team promoted in 1970 [to the old Division 3] and that was exciting,’ said Jeff, 68.
‘I’ve also followed them through the bad times, when a previous owner wanted to sell the ground and the club nearly folded.
‘So getting back into the football league after so many years feels great.
‘And I think it will be highly beneficial for Wrexham itself.
‘I was in Bath the other day and got speaking to someone there and when he found where I was from he was so interested.
‘So you’re from Wrexham?’ he asked.
‘He had so many questions about the place.’
For loyal fans like Jeff the next stage in the club’s progress – at least off the pitch – will be the completion a new 5,500 seater stand.
The development will take the Wrexham’s home capacity to 15,000 and he believes ‘even more’ fans will want to come and watch the team following their fairytale revival.
‘It’ll be incredible,’ he added. ‘It really feels like the club, the city is on the up.’
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description
|PK||0||It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.|
|0-50||0/0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.|
|0 loss||0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.|
|1+50||0.5/1||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 level||1||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.|
|1-50||1/1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 loss||1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.|
|2+50||1.5/2||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|2 flat||2||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.|
|2 losses||2/2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|3+50||2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.|
|3 losses||2.5/3||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.|
|3 levels||3||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.|
|3-50||3/3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.|
|3 losses||3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.|
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