Wrexham AFC’s Miracle season with Ryan Reynolds


Courtesy of Dick Thomas Johnson and Mark Barnes

Ryan Reynolds bought the historic Wrexham AFC in 2021.

Why are people calling Ryan Renolds the real life Ted Lasso? Back in February of 2021, the Deadpool star and fellow actor, Rob McElhenney, purchased Wrexham AFC, a football club in Wales. Before the purchase, the club’s statistics were significantly underwhelming, placing 19th in the previous 24 seed National League season. Ever since the club’s new management developments,  ticket sales, online followers, and overall support have been declining rapidly. In a nearly sold out stadium, Wrexham defeated Boreham Wood on Saturday, April 22 to confirm their promotion to the football league. 

In the United Kingdom there are six major soccer leagues. The Premier League followed by the Championship League (Not to be confused with the Champions league, which includes teams in all of Europe), The Football League 1, The Football League 2, The National League, and The North/South National League.  Wrexham’s recent placement guarantees them a spot in next season’s Football League 2. 

“I’m not sure I can process what happened tonight,” reflected Reynolds after the team’s victory. “I am still a little speechless. People ask ‘Why Wrexham?’ This is why Wrexham: this happening, right now, is why.” The sound of the final whistle was broken by cheers around the stadium. Security Guards helplessly stood back as thousands of fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the team. Videos of the team’s celebrations went viral over the weekend with many people calling it a ‘fairytale ending’ or ‘something out of a movie’. The game ended in a 3-1 victory with a goal from Wrexham’s Elliot Lee in the fifteenth minute and two more from Paul Mullin in the second half. 

In 2022 Wrexham released a docu-series on Hulu called Welcome to Wrexham featuring Reynolds and McElhenney’s journey to buying and rebuilding the club. Watchers all over the world have been comparing this series to the popular television show Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis. Both stories feature American characters becoming involved with English football. In Ted Lasso Sudeikis stars as a dopey and lovable American Football coach who makes his way to England to take up a different kind of football. And while Reynolds isn’t the coach of Wrexham AFC his story features similar aspects of feeling connected to the city of Wrexham and growing close connections with his players. 

“Good timing with Ryan!” said Sudekis. “It’s nice to have people so enthusiastic about having American ownership. I don’t know if it’s wildly ubiquitous, but it certainly has helped Wrexham out!” The comparison is perhaps what increased Wrexham’s popularity over the past couple of years. That, and its owners being two world famous actors. 

Now with their promotion comes high pressure for next season. A higher league means better teams and bigger stadiums. Reynolds and McElhenney plan to recruit Gareth Bale, Welsh soccer star, to come out of retirement and join Wrexham. In a tweet posted by McElhenny two days after the win on Saturday the It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Star said “Hey @GarethBale11 let’s play golf, where I totally won’t spend 4 hours trying to convince you to un-retire for one last magical season.” Bale responded, “Depends on what course…”

Wrexham AFC’s Miracle season with Ryan Reynolds