two Hollywood stars at the bedside of Welsh football

Welcome to Wrexham, when Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, “two Hollywood cranks», discover football and get hooked on the game. disney

This documentary series tells the takeover by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney of a modest professional team. An unexpected and tasty adventure.

Located about thirty kilometers from Liverpool, between the Cambrian Mountains and the lower valley of the Dee, Wrexham is the largest city in North Wales. A workers’ city with red brick houses, corroded by humidity and blackened by factory smoke. If the mines have now closed, the population remains marked forever by the story of the two hundred and sixty-six black mouths decimated by the firedamp explosion of 1934.

A drama commemorated thanks to a bronze statue which opens Regent Street, the main shopping street. When Wrexham is not mourning its heroes, it has only St. Giles Church, the town center pubs and its football stadium to console itself…


It is in the middle of the Racecourse Ground, the oldest international stadium in the world having hosted the football match between Wales and Scotland since 1877 (0-2), that landed Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in the fall of 2020. The two Hollywood actors, surrounded by the cameras of their production companies, had just bought out Wrexham FC, a local football club created in 1864, the third oldest British professional club. Despite its history, Wrexham FC play in the National League, the fifth division of the United Kingdom, the last championship of the professional pyramid dominated by the Premier League. A competition considered a bit like the purgatory of English football. Salaries are low but the matches are tough and contested. All teams have only one goal: to leave this hell and go back to the next level. “Football is more than a game, it’s not even a matter of life or death, it’s even more important than that»then entrusts them with a supporter, in the first episode of Welcome to Wrexham, a Disney+ documentary series. And one wonders what these two movie stars are doing in the middle of this green rectangle of which they know almost nothing…

Great human adventure

Here, the football club is an institution that brings together the inhabitants of the city and the surrounding area every weekend. And the actors Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds quickly understand, over the eighteen episodes produced by the Americans Drew Palombi, Jeff Luini and Aaron Lovell, that the fans wonder about the motivations of the “two Hollywood cranks». The task promises to be difficult to sportingly restore the club’s image. “You said we would make it…” slips Reynolds to McElhenney, at the end of the first season.

Read alsoRyan Reynolds buys Welsh Fifth Division football club

Even more than a football story with its joys and sorrows, its twists and turns – oh, the semi-final for the promotion to the top division against Grimsby FC! – and the shimmering colors of the stadiums under an island Sunday sun, Welcome to Wrexham is a wonderful human adventure, full of authenticity and sincerity. The budding friendship between two unlikely ociates feels like a veritable ‘bromance’, a platonic love affair. These two men get into the game, driven by popular enthusiasm. A fervor that sometimes smells of sausage and beer when the camera wanders through the bays of Racecourse Ground, and which maintains the interest, despite some lengths of the scenario.

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Oooohhh, Ryan Reynolds! There’s only one Ryan Reynolds», sing the people in the stands to the tune of Guantanamera , during the first game attended by the star. An unexpected and moving tribute. The split face of a childish smile, the star of X-Men films the scene with her smartphone, touched straight to the heart. “When we bought the club, Ryan wasn’t sure, he didn’t really know, laughs Rob McElhenney.And now he’s going to Wrexham without me! »As an invitation for the viewer to also go to the end of this series with the same fervor.

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