Dragons reinvigorated under Hollywood masters: Wrexham still in the headlines

National League side Wrexham visit Sheffield United on Tuesday as the lowest-ranked team remaining in this season’s FA Cup.

The Welsh side, co-owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, will secure a lucrative fifth-round tie at home with Tottenham by winning their Bramall Lane replay.

Here the PA news agency looks at a club making headlines on and off the pitch.

the owners

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over Wrexham two years ago (Peter Byrne/PA)

Wrexham were starting a 12th season in the fifth tier of English football when Reynolds and McElhenney announced their intention to buy Wales’ oldest club in September 2020. Deadpool actor Reynolds, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator McElhenney completed their £2 million acquisition of the Wrexham Supporters Trust the following February and life in North Wales has never been the same since.

The impact

Heavy investment has transformed Wrexham from National League stragglers into serious promotion contenders. The Dragons lost a semi-final playoff to Grimsby last season after finishing runners-up to Stockport. They are currently battling with Notts County for the only automatic promotion place, three points behind the Magpies but with two games in hand and dreaming of FA Cup glory.

the profile

The spectacular documentary ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ was broadcast last year on US television channel FX and introduced the club – owners, management, players and fans – to an international audience. The show was very well received and Wrexham’s profile is now so high that their FA Cup match against Sheffield United was the most followed football match that day on the ESPN website and digital platforms in the US. .


File photo of Phil Parkinson

Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson has spent two decades in football management (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Phil Parkinson has spent two decades as manager and Wrexham is his seventh club. The 55-year-old has managed Colchester, Hull, Charlton, Bradford, whom he guided to the League Cup final in 2013, Bolton and Sunderland. Parkinson has won promotions at Colchester, Bradford and Bolton.


Wrexham v Sheffield United – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – The Racecourse Ground

Paul Mullin has proven to be a goalscoring sensation since being relegated two leagues to join Wrexham in 2021 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Striker Paul Mullin is Wrexham’s main man, scoring 57 goals in 73 games since being convinced to leave Cambridge and be relegated two leagues in July 2021. Ben Tozer, Callum McFadzean, Elliot Lee and Ollie Palmer also bring plenty of experience in the Football League, while Wrexham have signed Irish defender Eoghan O’Connell from Charlton since the racecourse draw against Sheffield United.

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