A major gamble for two actors has paid off on the pitch as the Ryan Reynolds- and Rob McElhenny-owned Wrexham Association Football Club has been promoted.
The Welsh soccer team, which was part of the National League, is now part of the English Football League, League Two after defeating Boreham Wood 3 to 1 over the weekend, People magazine and Sports Illustrated reported.
It’s the first time in more than 10 years that Wrexham will be part of the English Football League.
Reynolds posted on Twitter after the win, writing, “This town and this sport is one of the most romantic things on earth.”
Reynolds and McElhenny bought the team in 2020, promising to transform the club.
The team had been a powerhouse in English football but in 2011 was just about to disappear, unable to compete in the soccer world. But with the backing of the two Hollywood A-listers, Wrexham has transformed, a journey that has been the focus of the docuseries “Welcome to Wrexham.”
According to the show’s FX Networks page, the Wrexham Red Dragons were the third oldest professional football club in the world and based in a working-class town in North Wales.
Reynolds and McEhenney bought the fifth-tier team “in the hopes of turning the club into an underdog story the whole world could root for.”
McEhenney, who hails from Philadelphia, said he had a connection to the small town. He shared in the docuseries, “The town reminds me of Philadelphia. It’s a working-class town. I feel like I know those people. I grew up with those people. I am one of those people,” according to a video clip shared by the “Today” show.
Fans from McEhenney’s hometown, who would normally root for an American football team — the Philadelphia Eagles — gathered in bars to support their adopted team from across the pond, “Today” reported.
McEhenney and Reynolds did not have any experience, but they were successful in their bid to reverse a team that was on the brink into one of champions.
While the Red Dragons continue to celebrate their win and promotion to the next level of soccer, they haven’t reached the top tier yet.
They have three more promotions before hitting the English Premier League, CNN reported.
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