1 of 5 | Ryan Reynolds arrives on the red carpet at the Netflix World Premiere of "The Adam Project" in New York City in February 2022. He and Ryan McElhenney celebrated the victory of Wrexham FC on Saturday which advances them to a higher league. The two purchased the team in 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
April 24 (UPI) -- They say art imitates life, and Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are now proving that the axiom to be true.
The actors own Wrexham FC, a small English soccer team that is actually located in Wales. Though it was founded in the 1860s, it was chronically underfinanced until Reynold and McElhenney took an interest in it, finalizing their purchase in 2021.
"Together with the players, the staff, the fans, and the local community, we can now pursue our goal to grow the team and return it to the EFL in front of increased attendances, and in an improved stadium, while making a positive difference to the wider community in Wrexham," the duo said in a statement at the time.
Wrexham is the third oldest soccer team in the world.
Now, in a similar storyline as the fictional Apple+ show Ted Lasso, about an American football coach who helps an English soccer team improve, Wrexham is celebrating a huge milestone advancing to the professional ranks for the first time in 15 years.
After beating Boreham Wood 3-1 on Saturday, Wrexham AC will play in League Two in August. although it's English soccer's fourth-highest league, it's a victory nonetheless as it allows Wrexham better quality play. It's akin to a semi-pro sports team moving up to a pro team.
Reynolds is a big soccer fan, and he and McElhenney became friendly after Reynolds "slid into his DM's" to share his appreciation for his work on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Turns out, McElhenney loved the sport as well. That friendship turned into a business partnership that included the purchase of the struggling club.
Their purchase was documented in the FX series Welcome to Wrexham, which detailed the club's transformation under the new ownership.
"We had no direct connection," McElhenney told a young fan, as shown in the trailer. "It was just a feeling."
Reynolds and McElhenney celebrated the victory with the help of Paul Rudd, who shot the video of the last seconds of the game.
"Rob and I kinda blacked out during this moment, but somehow we'll never forget it," Reynolds posted, along with the video.
On his Instagram page, he posted more pictures.
Everything I own smells like champagne, beer and grass," Reynolds's caption read. "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 ⚔️⚔️
Prince Wiliam and Kate Middleton, the Prince and Princess of Wales, congratulated Wrexham on their victory, tweeting "Congratulations @Wrexham_AFC! A club with such amazing history, looking forward to a very exciting future back in the Football League. Doing Wales proud. W."