It was the end of Hollywood they had hoped for.
Three years after A-list actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought Wrexham Association Football Club, a small soccer team in North Wales clinched promotion to the English Soccer League for the first time in more on Saturday. of a decade.
And the stars of «Deadpool» and «It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia» led the celebrations on Saturday after Wrexham beat Boreham Wood 3-1. McElhenney was in tears after the game but was later seen smiling at his achievement.
The game started poorly for Wrexham, who conceded a goal 43 seconds into the 90-minute game when Lee Ndlovu hit the keeper. But an Elliot Lee header leveled the game, and two second-half goals from star striker Paul Mullin saw the team win comfortably.
Despite being Welsh, Wrexham plays in the English soccer league and next season will ply its trade in League Two, the fourth and lowest division of England’s top professional soccer system.
The club, which was founded in 1864 and boasts the oldest international soccer stadium in the world, has never reached the heights of English Premier League and has been playing in the Vanarama National League, where attendances average just over 2,000 fans, and players often supplement their income with part-time jobs.
Once a center for coal and lead mining, the small town of Wrexham was formerly an industrial powerhouse. Its decline was reflected in the team’s fortunes until the acquisition of Reynolds and McElhenney, which was completed in February 2021.
His attempts to transform the team have been documented in «Welcome to Wrexham,» a limited series produced by Disney+ and FX. McElhenney said on the series that he was initially drawn to the club and the city because it reminded him of working-class Philadelphia, where he grew up.
Since then, the series has followed the team as it narrowly missed out on promotion last year and focused on various fans and local characters from the city.
The success of both the team and the series has led to an unlikely tourism boom in the city, which is about two and a half hours from London and three from the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
In February, Will Ferrell was photographed enjoying a pint with fans on his first visit to see the team, while McElhenney’s «It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia» co-stars Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson were in the stands for Tuesday’s game against Yeovil Town.
Promotion to the English Football League can have huge cash benefits for a football club, which typically receives a Premier League payment equivalent to $1.25 million, as well as increased revenue from broadcast opportunities and a boom in ticket sales.
However, if Reynolds and McElhenney are intent on taking the club to the top of the English game, it is likely to cost far more than they have proposed.
The average value of a Premier League team’s playing squad is almost $2 billion, according to the Sports website.