Welcome to Wrexham proves football is more than a game

Hulu recently dropped the first two episodes of Welcome to Wrexhamthe documentary following the trip of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney as they regain ownership of Wrexham AFC, a team in the fifth tier of English football (barely a rung above the amateur leagues). Both players left with the aim of bringing the club back into the English Football League and, in doing so, restoring the historic team’s place among the top teams.

We’ve all seen stories of the underdog, both on screen and in real life, but this is truly a challenge in the highly competitive world of English football, and one that football fans around the world will pay heed to. . There are thousands of football teams around the world, so what attracted Reynolds and McElhenney to this small team based in a town in Wales? Well, this story begins with Rob.

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Rob McElhenney returns to his working class roots

Ryan’s passion and commitment to the team is undeniable, as evidenced by his first steps on the court and his stunning fall. Reynolds also opened up about his passion for the sport, explaining how he would always strive to excel in order to gain validation from his late father. However, it was mostly Rob, the self-proclaimed TV money guy, who started this project. During the first episode of the series, Rob gives us a glimpse of his humble beginnings. With his son and his father, he shows us around the house in which he grew up, a small family home in the heart of Philadelphia. This is not a humble brag to show us how far he has come and how successful he has been, but rather to show us the type of person he is, and the understanding and appreciation he has for the working class.


McElhenney goes on to tell us how much American football means to him, talking about how the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory in 2018 meant to him. He puts victory up there with the birth of his children and on his wedding day a glimpse of what the “game” means to him. It’s not just Rob with these thoughts though. He explains how the team is an extension of the city. It is a culture. The team brings the townspeople together and gives them a sense of belonging. For McElhenney, Philadelphia is a blue-collar city, and they have to work for everything they have, but football is something that brings them all together and lets them forget about their lives. He sees that same sentiment in the Welsh town of Wrexham.

Finding common ground between Philadelphia and Wrexham

The city of Wrexham shares a lot with Philadelphia. Sure, there’s a huge difference in size, a huge difference in population, and a huge difference in notoriety, but what unites the two places is the spirit of the people. Just as Philadelphia is driven by its love for the Eagles, the industrious locals of Wrexham are driven by their home team. It is a city that is not known for its career opportunities or its sophisticated infrastructure, but a city where hope is never lost and where the heart is always present. It all comes from football. On the face of it, it’s a game with 22 men chasing after a ball, vying to put it into the opponents’ goal, but the game means so much more to its fans. It’s a chance for them to feel like one, away from their hectic working lives, and to feel like they’re part of something. Whatever their situation, football is a distraction for them and the community spirit ensures that no one feels alone.


One scene that stands out, though seemingly minor, is an interview with a street food van outside the club grounds. The owner of the van explains how he talks to customers, and their mood depends a lot on the latest results of the football team. Fans can be seen congregating outside, expressing their dismay at the poor results and performances, and the street vendor goes on to explain how the locals seem despondent after the team’s loss. It’s a common theme among enthusiastic football fans around the world (a theme I know all too well). The feeling of loss stays with you through the coming week until the next game provides an opportunity to correct it. That’s how the people of Wrexham feel, and being such a passionate group of fans can only amplify that feeling.


One of the most obvious places to see this North Wales town’s passion for the beautiful game is the opening sequence. To the melancholic tune of “The Time They Are A-Changing” by Keb Mo, it features images and short videos from the city’s history. The shots include historical moments from the team’s past intertwined with photos of coal miners. With the theme behind these shots, we get a real sense of the emotions of the city’s inhabitants, and the use of images from professional lives and footballing moments shows us just how intertwined the city is. Football is not a separate pastime for fans when free, it is firmly rooted in the culture and history of the region. As the documentary explains, the club is the third oldest football club in the world, which means there is a ton of history associated with it, and the fans have been there every step of the way. . Support for the team has been passed down from generation to generation, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of stopping.

Only two episodes have been released so far, and we can already see what sports can mean to a community. Welcome to Wrexham is gripping because it follows the lives of normal working-class people, rather than just club owners. Both Reynolds and McElhenney are sure to be great for the club, and their passion is clear to us, but Wrexham’s story can only be told by those who live it, and that’s what this story does so well. documentary. For the natives of Wrexham, football is not just a game, football is life.

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