It’s been a season of drama that everyone is talking about, filled with highs and lows and culminating in an incredible finale. But no this isn’t a new hit TV show, just the latest chapter in the – slightly surreal – history of Wrexham AFC.
The Welsh football club has won promotion to the Football League, after 15 seasons of playing in the semi-amateur National League (the fifth tier of English football). The North Wales club has rocketed to global fame in the last few years after it was bought by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in 2020.
In typically nail-biting fashion, Wrexham fought back from a 1-0 deficit to beat Boreham Wood 3-1 at The Racecourse, Wrexham's home ground. The result ensured the team topped the National League and means they’ll be playing in League Two next season (which is, somewhat confusingly, the fourth tier of English football, and fully professional).
The home side, which is the oldest football club in Wales and one of the oldest in the world, were spurred on at the high-stakes clash by 10,000 fans, including Ryan and Rob, plus fellow A-list actor Paul Rudd (who caught the reaction of the owners on camera) – all of whom joined in with the joyous celebrations at the final whistle.
Securing promotion is the culmination of a remarkable few years for the football club, which has also made a starring role in the Disney+ documentary, Welcome to Wrexham, earning itself new fans from all over the world.
But the club has also been through some tough times during the last few decades, notably in 2011, when a consortium of fans had to raise £100,000 to pay a fine that threatened the team with bankruptcy. Following this event, the club was purchased by the fan-owned Wrexham Supporters' Trust (WST), who unanimously agreed to sell it to Ryan and Rob in 2020, kickstarting this new era of success and global recognition.
Speaking about securing promotion, Wrexham AFC manager, Phil Parkinson, told the BBC, 'It's an amazing feeling. I feel so emotional after what the club has been through in the last 15 years. I am so proud of the performance and the fans.'
Co-owner Rob McElhenney, added, 'I think it's going to take a minute to process. Both Ryan and I were up and watching and both of us had tears in our eyes and didn't quite know how to express what we were feeling.'
We can’t wait to see what the next season has in store!