The club's fans are fed up with the “Disney stamp”

The club's fans are fed up with the “Disney stamp”

– It's not about Disney. It's about football.

Nigel is on hand in his speech at fans' bar The Turf, where VG meets several local Wrexham supporters – some dating back as far as the 1960s.

The mood is on the roof three hours before kick-off in the final home game of the season against league champions Stockport.

The Welsh Adventure Club have secured their second successive promotion and will play next season in League One – the third tier in England.

In return, they received tourists from all over the world, huge interest, and a spin-off documentary series on Disney+.

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With a huge dose of pride, long-term fans talk about the journey they are now a part of.

Wrexham is no longer the ghost town it used to be. It's really hard to believe: They breathed life into a city that was on a ventilator, says Nathan Salt.

He is a Daily Mail journalist based in Manchester and originally from Wrexham. Several of his colleagues started businesses in the city: Business is boomingPeople actually move to Wrexham now.

Nathan Salt
<-Nathan Salt

Daily Mail journalist and Wrexham national. Among other things, he runs his own podcast about the Welsh club.

Irony

“They” are not just anyone. In November 2020, Hollywood celebrities Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenney completed the takeover of the Welsh club for around NOK 30 million.

– It's a paradox, isn't it? asks pro Rob (not celebrity Rob).

– Here you have an old mining town, with strong working-class roots, that has suddenly been bought up by Hollywood celebrities.

The gang that VG meets are from the Military Veterans Supporters Club in Wrexham. They participated For a long time. Now Wrexham is on the map, a global brand.

Delivering the goods: Nathan Salt says Ryan Reynolds and Rob McIlhenny have delivered on what they promised: make Wrexham world-famous and better as a team. Photo: Peter Byrne/Pascal Images/NTB

But no medals without a back!

The success and attention has led to a bigger fight for tickets, and perhaps an image they don't quite know.

For fans who meet VG, Wrexham was what mattered even before Hollywood and Disney became part of everyday discourse.

– People are tired of the Disney character, being called “Disney Reds” and so on. But you can't have these owners and live in the shadows, Salt says.

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However: VG meetings will never replace Reynolds and McIlhenny. Above all, they feel immense gratitude for everything they have achieved.

However, they were unable to convince the biggest Welsh star:

Humphrey Kerr, CEO (and now also a Disney celebrity), says there are many in the city who have been thrust into the spotlight without… hero To find out what they have joined.

So far, these spotlights have been exclusively positive, he told VG. He points to the improvement the entire city has witnessed in the wake of the series and its success.

“The idea that we have given the people of Wrexham a better future is one of the most satisfying things about all of this,” Kerr says.

Stopped by fans: Humphrey Kerr (left) says he has been stopped at airports and many club managers have not been so lucky. Here he is with Prince Charles at The Turf pub in March. Photo: Chris Jackson/Pennsylvania Images/NTB

He realizes that they must preserve the essence of the club, while at the same time developing everything around it.

Now that they have had some success, and with surrounding tires, the club has become a popular shooting range.

– Football fans always find a reason to exchange messages with each other, and this is also part of the reason why it is so interesting. It is important that we maintain our essence as a social actor. If we forget that, things have gone very wrong — then we've missed the point of this project, Kerr says — and he says he will do everything he can to address precisely that.

But it's impossible to escape the fact that there's a great deal of Disney about everything that happens around Wrexham. We see many of them dressed as Deadpool, one of Reynolds' most popular characters.

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Two hours before the start of the match, a crowd of fans stood outside the stadium. Rob McElhenney is rumored to be available for the final home game of the season.

Sure enough, suddenly the crowd had to separate to make room for two Mercedes minibuses. The gates close but the crowd screams at McIlhenny as he gets out of the car.

“Can you give him an autograph?!” He is happy and comes to great cheers.

“I feel like I'm in prison,” he joked on the other side of the mesh gate.

Patiently, he takes his time taking selfies, autographs and a fair amount of waving in front of the many mobile cameras hanging up.

Hello mates: Rob McIlhenny jokes, laughs, signs and stands behind bars before Wrexham's final home game of the season. Photo: Jens Freiberg/VG

These days, the third season of “Welcome to Wrexham” is premiering on Disney+. It has become something of a slogan: VG is welcomed time and again in Wrexham in particular.

Wrexham won the same match 2-1 over the champions from Stockport, a noteworthy point. Now the first league awaits.

“We deserve this success,” says Nigel.

The long shot is the Premier League, but along the way they have already created a unique adventure for a slightly remote working-class town in Wales. As pro Rob says:

– The city is smiling. We are proud.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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