As the saying goes, it’s the hope that kills you as a football fan – just ask Ryan Reynolds.
The Hollywood actor experienced the full spectrum of emotions on Sunday as he watched Wrexham – the club Reynolds co-owns with Rob McElhenney – draw 3-3 against Sheffield United in a thrilling FA Cup clash.
Reynolds traveled to the non-league club in north Wales to watch his side play in the fourth round of the historic competition.
The FA Cup is a tournament that pits teams from all levels of the football pyramid against each other and often produces unlikely results.
Excited to write another chapter in the history books, Reynolds interacted with fans in the build-up to the match which was broadcast live in the US on ESPN.
Afterwards, along with nearly 10,000 fans inside the racecourse ground, the 46-year-old actor was at the mercy of a pavement shootout which saw Wrexham claim a famous victory.
The match started badly for Wrexham as the Welsh side fell behind in the first two minutes.
But inspired by an incredible atmosphere inside the stadium, Wrexham hit back in the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
The buzz that greeted Wrexham’s goals was testament to the culture the club’s new ownership has helped create since taking over, as fans began to believe in a footballing miracle taking place under the floodlights.
Reynolds appeared to have lost all sense of composure, hugging friends and family before celebrating with fans around him.
But as any football fan will tell you, the sport can be cruel and there have been more twists and turns in the sequel.
Sheffield United, who are strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League next season, equalized narrowly after Wrexham took the lead but then suffered a blow when Daniel Jebbison was sent off for an off-the-ball incident.
With their extra advantage, Wrexham looked to be on top and the loss looked set to go into the fifth round as the side’s star striker Paul Mullin made it 3-2 in the 86th minute.
Reynolds greeted Mullin’s goal with wild celebrations, but this was a game with a finish straight out of a Hollywood script.
With one of the last kicks of the game, Sheffield United equalized through John Egan, which denied Wrexham a memorable win – at least for now.
“That was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen,” Reynolds said I tweet after match.
“Thank you to every Wrexham supporter who came out and played their heart out on that pitch tonight.”
The replay will take place on February 7 at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane with the winner hosting Tottenham in the next round.
McElhenney and Reynolds made a splash when they completed the takeover of the club in 2021, with ambitions to take the Welshman to the Premier League.
At the time of the takeover, Wrexham had been out of the top four divisions of English football, known as the Football League, for over a decade.
The pair have already produced a TV series – ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ – which documents their time at the club as it emerges from obscurity and results on the pitch have also improved as the owners continue to invest in the squad.
The team currently leads the National League and if they win promotion, they will play in the Second Division of English football next season.
Secure three more promotions after that and Wrexham will be playing in the Premier League.
Wrexham is one of a number of Welsh clubs that play in the English football league system due to their founding prior to the creation of the Welsh Football League.
It’s a long way to go, but the Hollywood duo seem content to stick around. The team’s performance in the FA Cup so far this season certainly points to a successful future.
“We are here now. We’re not going anywhere but up,” McElhenney posted on Twitter after Sunday’s game.