Wrexham promoted back to Football League after 15-year exile as Hollywood watches
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Wrexham promoted back to Football League after 15-year exile as Hollywood watches

Wrexham’s 15-year exile from the Football League is over after they were promoted to League Two in front of their Hollywood owners.

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – who bought the club in November 2020 – were at the Racecourse Ground but it was the starring role of Wrexham forward Paul Mullin that earned the 3-1 win over Boreham Wood to secure the National League title.

“I’m not sure I can process what happened, I’m still a little speechless,” Reynolds told BT Sport after Wrexham’s promotion had been sealed. “One thing that’s running through my head is that people said at the beginning, ‘Why Wrexham?’ This is exactly why Wrexham. What’s happening right now is why.

“To see the joy on the players’ faces and, of course, the entire stadium is what it’s all about.”.

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Boreham Wood had threatened to tear up the script when Lee Ndlovu scored just 43 seconds into the match, but after Ben Foster went viral for his heroics two weeks ago, Wrexham once again delivered box-office drama.

Elliot Lee equalised before Mullin scored his 44th and 45th goals of the season to return the club to the Football League exactly 15 years to the day since they were relegated – the perfect Hollywood ending.

It finally took Wrexham out of County’s reach on 110 points and signalled their return to the Football League following their demotion in 2008.

“We can hear what it means to Wrexham, and that’s what’s most important to us,” McElhenney told BT Sport. “This is a moment of catharsis for them and celebration, and for us to be welcomed into their community and this experience has been the honour of my life.”.

Paul Mullin scored his 44th goal in 49 games this season

Image: Paul Mullin scored his 44th and 45th goals of the season

Reynolds certainly appeared to enjoy the celebrations that went long into the night in Wrexham.

The Hollywood A-lister tweeted on Sunday morning: “Everything I own smells like champagne, beer and grass.

“I’m still somewhere between giggling and sobbing. This town and this sport is one of the most romantic things on earth. Thank you, @Wrexham–AFC.”.

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Reynolds and McElhenney were joined by Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd – who was pictured drinking in local pubs with fans before kick-off – in their executive seating area as Wrexham recovered from falling behind in 43 seconds.

The co-owners went on to the pitch after the match to hug the players and hold the trophy. Reynolds also interrupted Ben Foster’s post-match press conference to demand the former England goalkeeper’s jersey.

Foster said: “He texted me – he’s so hungry for the shirt. He said ‘make sure you don’t throw it into the crowd I need that.’.

Ant-Man star Paul Rudd happily posed with fans

Image: Ant-Man star Paul Rudd happily posed with fans

“They (the owners) are brilliant. They absolutely love it. They’re in, I mean they are fully in. They are like one of the boys at times. They won’t come in shouting and raving.

“They celebrate and get behind the lads because they understand you’re not always going to win or play 10 out of 10 or smash these out of the park.

“They understand that in sport the opposition wants to win as much as you do, that’s the beauty of it, they don’t always expect instant results.”.

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Boreham Wood manager Luke Garrard said his play-off hopefuls had been “Mullined” after Wrexham’s top scorer took the game away from them with two superb second-half strikes.

Paul Mullin made it 47 goals for the season after Elliot Lee had cancelled out Lee Ndlovu’s instant strike with a far-post header.

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McElhenney said: “I’d like to say Paul Mullin is one of the greatest football players in the world.”.

On the crowd’s reaction to promotion, he added: “I think we can hear how it feels to the town and that’s what’s most important to us.

Wrexham owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney were at the Racecourse Ground to see their promotion

Image: Reynolds and McElhenney watch from the stands at the Racecourse Ground

“I think this is a moment of catharsis for them and celebration and for us to be welcomed into their community and to be welcomed into this experience has been the honour of my life.”.

Since being purchased by Reynolds and McElhenney, the third oldest football club in the world have gained international recognition and new fans all around the world – with Ant-Man star Paul Rudd even joining Wrexham fans in the pub ahead of kick-off on Saturday.

An FX documentary released on Disney+ in the UK – Welcome to Wrexham – follows the club’s journey from the early days of its new ownership.

The side have one match left of the season against Torquay, before facing Manchester United in a friendly in San Diego in July.

Wrexham’s promotion party in pictures