The emotions of Reynolds and McElhenney as Wrexham get promoted
Mail Sport captures the emotions of Wrexham owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney on a momentous night for the club as they come from behind to secure promotion to League Two
- Wrexham secured promotion to the Football League by beating Boreham Wood
- The Welsh side have now ended their 15-year exodus in Non-League football
- Mail Sport captured the emotions of owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney
Promotion battles – they’re never easy for fans and owners alike as emotions go through the wringer during the twists and turns in the pursuit of what often feels like elusive success.
The story was no different for Wrexham co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney on Saturday as the Welsh side finally secured their return to the Football League after a 15-year absence following a sensational season.
Wrexham defeated Boreham Wood 3-1 thanks to two goals from top scorer Paul Mullin and another from Elliot Lee as they reached an astonishing 110 points – a National League record. It caps what has been a remarkable ride ever since Hollywood stars Reynolds and McElhenney took over Wrexham in February 2021.
Since then, the Red Dragons have come into the consciousness of football far and wide, and even have their own Disney + documentary – with a second season due for release later this year.
Mail Sport captured the emotions of Wrexham’s co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney on a sensational night for the club as they secured a return to the Football League
Reynolds greeted Wrexham fans ahead of kick off on what could be a historic day for the club
There was a slight sense of nervousness around with Notts County having reduced their gap to Wrexham to one point following a 5-2 victory over Maidstone United earlier on Saturday
They have also seen club’s turnover increase by a whopping 404 per cent, rising to almost £6m – a record for Non-League football and this is just the start of their ambitious plans which Reynolds affirmed in October 2021 are to reach the Premier League.
The owners have been a visible presence at the club throughout this season and they were in attendance yesterday as they witnessed a historic night for the club.
Mail Sport’s Kevin Quigley was there to capture all the emotions and anguish the pair experienced as they watched the drama unfold.
There was a slight air of nervousness at the Racecourse Ground after title rivals Notts County had reduced the gap to one point following their 5-2 win over Maidstone United earlier in the day.
Wrexham went 1-0 down early on after Lee Ndlovu opened the scoring within 43 seconds
Elliot Lee’s equaliser celebrations sparked wild celebrations among Reynolds and McElhenney
The first half was still a tense watch as Boreham Wood were level with the hosts at half-time
Reynolds could be seen urging his side on with McElhenney slightly more withdrawn
However, Wrexham knew a win would guarantee promotion with just one game left to play and they had the advantage following a dramatic 3-2 victory over their title rivals earlier this month.
It all started in shock as Lee Ndlovu scored after just 43 seconds for the visitors to send fear through Wrexham fans and the co-owners.
However, there was relief on 15 minutes when Lee levelled the tie as he powered a header home to spark passionate celebrations among the club’s supporters and hierarchy.
The rest of the first half was a tense watch with Boreham Wood proving to be plucky opponents and the agony the game was causing Reynolds and McElhenney was clear to see.
Sensing the moment, Reynolds could then be seen urging on his side before elation struck when Mullin curled in his 37th and most important goal of the season early on in the second half to put Phil Parkinson’s side 2-1 up and on the verge of the EFL.
Paul Mullin put the hosts 2-1 up early on in the second half, but the game wasn’t won yet
The Racecourse Ground then erupted as Mullin scored yet again to make it 3-1 on 71 minutes
Reynolds could barely believe what he was seeing with Wrexham on the verge of promotion
McElhenney and Reynolds were enjoying themselves during the final 20 minutes of the clash
Mullin ensured he would be even further written in to Wrexham folklore when he added a second on 71 minutes, as the whole stadium erupted.
This meant the final period of the game was played out to a party atmosphere, and Reynolds and McElhenney could seen to be enjoying themselves and barely able to believe what their club was on the verge of achieving.
When referee Scott Jackson blew his full-time whistle, the whole stadium and town erupted as thousands of supporters ran on to the pitch in celebration at what Phil Parkinson’s team had done.
After the wild celebrations had died down, McElhenney and Reynolds made their way down onto the pitch to bask in the celebrations.
As they hugged each other they could barely believe what had happened and took a moment to take it all in.
The pair were very close to the first step on their hugely ambitions plans for the Welsh side
Following a pitch invasion by elated supporters, McElhenney and Reynolds went onto the pitch
The pair took a moment to take everything in after ending Wrexham’s absence from the EFL
After celebrating with many members of the squad, the pair lifted the National League trophy
They celebrated with many players, including 38-goal hero Mullin – who McElhenney labelled ‘one of the greatest football players in the world’ – before lifting the National League trophy together.
Wrexham’s owners summed up the magnitude of the achievement best after full-time. Reynolds told reporters: ‘I’m not sure I can actually process what happened tonight, I’m still a little speechless.
‘One thing that’s running through my head over and over again was at the beginning, people said “Why Wrexham? Why Wrexham?” This is exactly why Wrexham, what’s happening right now, is why.’
McElhenney added: ‘I think we can hear how it feels to the town and that’s what’s most important for us – I think this is a moment of catharsis for them.’
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