Not many were aware of the world’s third-oldest soccer club, Wrexham AFC. The only time the club got noticed was in 2011, when a heartwarming gesture by fans saved the club from extinction. But another significant event occurred in 2021 that changed the club’s fortunes. And an avid boyhood fan takes pride in the club’s current situation.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney took over the club on February 9, 2021, and opened the green pastures. From the perils of extinction to one of the most noticeable clubs worldwide, old fans have seen it all. And that’s what has excited 37-year-old ex-Olympian Gareth Evans.
Boyhood fan loves the buzz around Wrexham
Gareth Evans has been supporting the Reds since childhood. The retired Welsh weightlifter represented Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics and won the Gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. After taking the podium in Australia, he donned a Wrexham jersey for the round of interviews. Evans visited the Racecourse Ground in 1994 first to witness the club play. His latest game was a defeat against MK Dons on the opening matchday of this season.
While speaking to The Athletic, Evans shared the change the club has undergone, especially after the Hollywood takeover. It wasn’t that difficult to grab a ticket in those days for Evans. He traveled on matchdays and still got the tickets. But that’s not the case now. You are no more guaranteed a seat to the Wrexham game.
There’s a buzz around the club, and he loves it. “It has been frustrating because, as a fan, I want to go to every game. But, at the same time, I am glad we have a full stadium every week and everyone is talking about the club,” he said. “I’d much rather have that than what was the case previously, when the only time we got a mention was because we might go out of business,” Evans refreshed the unfortunate events of 2011.
But what happened in 2011 to Wrexham? Let’s dive deeper.
The Reds came a long way after 2011 concerns
In 2011, HMRC (responsible for the collection of taxes in the UK) served winding-up orders to Wrexham. The reason was the unpaid tax bill of around $250,000. Its previous owner made $150,000 available and appealed to the fans to donate. It took just seven hours for the fans to raise the remaining sum.
Soon after the appeal, hardcore Reds fans flooded Racecourse Ground and donated whatever they could. They saved their beloved club from extinction, with Wrexham Supporter’s Trust taking over. WST sold the club to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in 2021, and over two years later, Wrexham is in the EFL after 15 year’s absence.