Dragons revived among Hollywood owners – Wrexham continues to make headlines

National League Wrexham will visit Sheffield United on Tuesday as the lowest placed side left in this season’s FA Cup.

The Welsh outfit, co-owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, will secure a lucrative fifth round home tie with Tottenham by winning their Bramall Lane replay.

Here, PA news agency looks at a club making headlines on and off the pitch.

The owners

Wrexham v Torquay United - Vanarama National League - Racecourse Ground

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over Wrexham two years ago (Peter Byrne/PA)

Wrexham began its 12th season in the fifth tier of English football when Reynolds and McElhenney announced their intention to buy Wales’ oldest club in September 2020. £2m takeover of the Wrexham Supporters Trust the following February and life in North Wales has never been the same since.

The consequences

Heavy investment has transformed Wrexham from National League stragglers to serious promotion contenders. The Dragons lost a play-off semi-final to Grimsby last season after finishing second to Stockport. They are currently battling Notts County for sole automatic promotion place, three points behind the Magpies but with two games in hand, and dreaming of FA Cup glory.

The profile

The fly-on-the-wall ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ documentary aired on FX last year introduced the club – owners, management, players and fans – to an international audience. The show was warmly received and Wrexham’s profile is now so great that their FA Cup match against Sheffield United was the most followed football match on ESPN’s website and digital platforms in the US that day.

The manager

Phil Parkinson file photo

Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson has spent two decades in football management (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Phil Parkinson has been manager for 20 years and Wrexham is his seventh club. The 55-year-old has managed Colchester, Hull, Charlton, Bradford – who he guided to the League Cup final in 2013 – Bolton and Sunderland. Parkinson has won promotions at Colchester, Bradford and Bolton.

The players

Wrexham v Sheffield United – Emirates FA Cup – Fourth Round – The Racecourse Ground

Paul Mullin has proven to be a goalscoring sensation since losing two leagues to move to Wrexham in 2021 (Peter Byrne/PA)

Striker Paul Mullin has been Wrexham’s main man and has scored 57 goals in 73 games since he was persuaded to leave Cambridge and drop two leagues in July 2021. Ben Tozer, Callum McFadzean, Elliot Lee and Ollie Palmer also have plenty of Football League experience, while Wrexham have signed Irish defender Eoghan O’Connell from Charlton since the Racecourse match against Sheffield United.

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