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List of kind gestures from Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney emerges since arrival at Wrexham

A list of kind gestures from Wrexham’s Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney emerges since their huge arrival at National League side Wrexham.

Since their takeover, in 2020, the Hollywood owners have done so much to help the club and community and now promotion to League Two is in sight.

It will be the culmination of a fantastic journey for Reynolds and McElhenney, who have turned the club’s fortunes around both on and off the field.

Helping local teams and charities is a great way to give back, and now some of their kindnesses since they took charge of the Welsh outfit has come to light, as per Wales Online, showing they really are the dream owners.

Especially when you think of the awful club killing – without care for fans or community owners – we’ve seen in recent years with a number of clubs taken over before taking them out of the EFL and into non league, or worse, to folding or forcing fans to make breakaway clubs.

Here’s just some of the many things Rob and Ryan have done for Wrexham since coming in, putting money to good use…

– Rob McElhenney made a huge donation to the Wrexham supporting family of a girl, 4, with an aggressive brain tumour

£10,000 was donated to the family, who were trying to raise a total of £60,000 after Aria Hodgkiss was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – a terminal and aggressive brain tumour.

The family hoped to raise the money so that Aria – whose family received the devastating news of her diagnosis on her third birthday and who later had radiotherapy – can be treated with ONC201, a new cancer drug. Sadly she died aged 4.

– Donating £6,000 to disabled Wrexham fan

Aiden Stott is a cerebral palsy sufferer who set up a fundraising campaign to fund a new bathing system and mechanical hoist.

McElhenney gave the full amount of £6,000, which was the target donation.

Aiden Stott who was given a £6,000 donation by Hollywood star Rob McElhenney for adaptations to his home

– Donating £10,000 after Jordan Davies’ baby died

Wrexham’s Jordan Davies and Kelsey Edwards lost their son Arthur in December 2021.

The campaign was launched to raise funds for the charity Sands UK. Blake Lively, Kaitlin, and Reynolds donated £10,000. With their generous donation, they exceeded the £1,500 goal.

– Helping provide kits for a local youth team

Reynolds doesn’t only look after the first team. He also helped to provide kits for local youth teams. The FC United of Wrexham U12s team were in desperate need of equipment. Wrexham’s co-owner donated £1,600 towards the cause.

Kayleigh Burton, who launched an appeal online, said: “I’m lost for words, and over the moon. Thank you Ryan for putting a smile on the team’s face, if thank you is even enough. Keegen is Wrexham’s number one fan. His dad would be made up for him and bursting with pride.”

– Buying a round of drinks

Reynolds and McElhenney celebrated the anniversary of the takeover with 365 G&Ts in The Turf Hotel, near the ground.

“Just a quick note to thank each and every one of you on our 1-year anniversary with the club,” they said. “The love and adoration for Wrexham FC – it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. That’s why we’ve put up 365 Aviation Gin and Tonics behind the bar. Have one on us.”

– Revamping the club

Reynolds and McElhenney have improved the Racecourse Ground by installing a new gymnasium. The plan also includes a modern training centre and a Kop stand that can hold more than 5,000 spectators.

Donating to Wrexham foodbank

The Hollywood takeover coincided with the locals’ hard times with the Covid pandemic was in full swing and a cost of living crisis unprecedented.

Millionaire owners of the company have donated to local causes. They also made a donation to Wrexham Foodbank which helps those in need.

A Wrexham Foodbank spokesperson said: “Thank you so much to Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds for their recent generous financial donation that will enable us to continue to distribute food and toiletries and give help to local people in crisis.”

Donating £5,000 in memory of young Halifax Town fan

Noah Brown, an FC Halifax Town fan aged 19, died in August 2022 from terminal bowel carcinoma.

“We are raising money and awareness to help other teenagers and their families through the darkest time of their lives,” his mum Julie Brown wrote on social media.

The family later received a £5,000 donation from “Ryan and Rob and Wrexham”, which was to be given to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Investment into the squad

Paul Mullin isn’t the only player Wrexham have brought in from a higher divisions, often at a significant cost especially compared to other teams in the National League.

The club spent around £300,000 bringing AFC Wimbledon attacker Ollie Palmer to the Racecourse, while Mullin is reportedly earning £4,500 per week (more than four times the typical salary in the National League).

The club’s owners have also promised the men’s squad a £250,000 bonus if they seal a return to the EFL.

Other gestures…

– McElhenney added rewarded Mullin and team-mates Ollie Palmer, Jordan Davies and Rory Watson tickets to UFC 286 at the 02 Arena after they defeated Bromley 2-1 to give the National League leaders a three-point advantage over Notts County

– Reynolds further endeared himself to the Mullin by trying to make his son feel better when the youngster was sick. Mullin was impressed with Reynolds’ human touch as it proved he really cares about the players and staff at the club.

– Rob and Ryan praised Dorking Wanderers for their classy approach to the game against Wrexham.

– Rob Clarke, who runs Mad4Movies in Wrexham Butcher’s Market was overwhelmed when he received a message from Ryan Reynolds, leading to an extraordinary gesture by the actor and his wife Blake Lively.

Rob Clarke explained: “Just when you think things couldn’t get more surreal in this town of ours. I’m still figuring out Twitter, but last week I got an inbox off none other than Ryan Reynolds! I called Carrie (his partner) over to double check it was actually him messaging me, it was, and he told me that he and Blake were having a clear out of their office and came across multiple dvd/blu ray copies of some of their films. He proceeded to tell me that they have signed every one of them and are sending them to me! Anyway, today they arrived – a box of over 100!!”. Rob explained it could help his eldest son Charlie, who lives with a blood disorder.

Fanzine writer Liam Randall, 34, of the Fearless in Devotion podcast, explains how much an impact Rob and Ryan have had on the club and community: “You see people buying into it. Local businesses like estate agents, hairdressers, they’ve all got Wrexham flags in their windows, they’ve got the crest everywhere, it’s built up a real sense of pride.

“The economy is benefitting as well which can only be good for the town. Back when I was young you didn’t see many kids in Wrexham shirts, it was [Manchester] United and Liverpool shirts, now you go to the park and it’s all Wrexham.

“I can remember the first game back after Covid, walking to the stadium it felt so alive and I realised something was happening here.”

Reynolds and McElhenney, along with their critically acclaimed Disney+ and FX documentary series, has put Wrexham on the map.

Local brewery Wrexham Lager’s sales have also soared, having thousands of new visitors in the last two years.

Businessman Tim Knowles has invested £136 million in Wrexham Industrial Estate. Ryan and Rob have since been given the freedom of the city for their impact, and welcomed the King and Queen Consort to the ground back in December.

Geraint Lloyd said, as per Daily Record: “It’s what they’ve done for the whole of North Wales. Wrexham Women had 9,000 supporters at a game, then you’ve got a poster here for Kings of Leon (who are playing a gig at the ground next month).”

He added: “If you look around our heritage it’s all coal and steel, the Gresford Colliery disaster (in which 266 men died in 1934) was coal. We’re not like Chester down the road which is posh, we’re very working class. That’s probably why they bought the club, there are a lot of different stories you can hear here.”

Travel boss Don Bircham, an ex-CEO of Wrexham, adds the takeover was “beyond everyone’s wildest dreams”, saying: “It’s put the football town not only on the UK map but the worldwide map. The town has benefitted from the exposure, businesses have benefitted from the sheer volume of people in town.

“You can’t get a ticket for love nor money because now there’s 10,000 people at every home match and when they build the new stand we could be talking about 15,000. They’re all coming into town, they’re all eating, they’re all drinking and they’re all enjoying themselves.”

Will Ferrell turned up at a local pub for a pre-match pint when he visited the area in March with Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana in Netflix drama The Crown, also a guest at the Racecourse.

The pair even downed shots of gin the following day. Credit: Twitter/Declan Swans

It’s also worth looking back at Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ Wrexham AFC mission statement.

They wrote via the club website: To the supporters, staff, players, friends and family of Wrexham AFC:

We’re two people who’ve made a career of never taking ourselves too seriously. However, we realise taking stewardship of this great and storied club is an incredibly serious matter and something we don’t take lightly. With that in mind, we wanted to take you through our Goal, Principles and Promises.

Our Goal

Our goal is to grow the team, return it to the EFL in front of increased attendances at an improved stadium while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham.

Guiding Principles

We will chase that goal guided by four essential principles.

To protect the heritage that has made Wrexham AFC and the Racecourse Ground such a special place to watch football for the last 156 years.

To reinforce the values, traditions and legacy of this community. We understand and respect the intense loyalty and love for this club and how it’s woven into the fabric of the town and its supporters.

To use our resources to grow the exposure of the club. Of course, this would be in concert with protecting the heart and spirit of a community-led historical icon. But why can’t the third-oldest club in the world have a global appeal?

To reward the faith of the supporters who have stood by Wrexham AFC through its history by putting everything we have towards what all fans want most for their club, and that is to… WIN, WIN, WIN.

Everything we do will be informed by these four principles and never one without the other. We want to be part of Wrexham’s story, not drag the club into ours.

Hard Promises

Provide comprehensive financial support for the manager and his coaching team. Build a sustainable model which will attract the best players and best staff to the Racecourse Ground.

Always beat Chester.*

Explore the renovation of the Racecourse Ground and improve the venue for the club, for International matches and perhaps, the occasional Tom Jones gig.

Invest in a permanent training facility that is worthy of an EFL club.

Guarantee the club cannot be relocated, renamed or rebranded. Appropriate and respectful observance of the Gresford Colliery Disaster will remain sacrosanct.

Recognising the role fans and the WST have played in stewarding the club through extremely difficult times, we will create an honorary board that includes fans, representatives of the WST and WAFC alongside our own advisors.

Ensure the continued presence of Dixie McNeil as the club’s honorary President, subject to his desire.

Always beat Chester.*

Expand club staff to take advantage of increased interest in Wrexham, both locally and internationally.

Recognise and reinforce Wrexham AFC’s role as a leading force for community good in the town. Work with the Club’s Disability Liaison Officer, Kerry Evans to retain and enhance Wrexham’s reputation as an inclusive and forward-thinking club, alongside other important local groups such as the Wrexham AFC Community Trust, food banks and schools.

Commit to a more ecologically-sustainable version of the club and stadium.

Commit to transparent decision making with regular and open communication.

Ensure that when the day comes that we leave the Club, it will be in a better position than it is today.


*If we ever play Chester again.

Wrexham’s total audience for all social media channels has passed 1.5 million combined followers by February 2023. This includes an increase of more than 500,000 in the last four months alone.

PLATFORM Feb 09, 2021 Feb 09, 2022 Feb 09, 2023
Twitter 79,589 114,500 367,665
Facebook 36,415 46,000 149,000
Instagram 41,000 86,900 434,316
TikTok N/A 109,000 669,400
YouTube 8,000 15,700 64,700


You can see more on their growth, including attendances, shirt sales, results and much more by clicking HERE, it’s quite the read.

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