Welcome To Wrexham! Thanks, I'm From There 🤪!

Used to describing my hometown in relation to its proximity to others, suddenly having it recognised by people around the globe has been strange... and welcome!

Andrew McDonald

10/14/20222 min read

Things have changed radically for me 😉 lately thanks to two North American guys.

New Yorkers, Dubliners and Sydneysiders won’t understand this feeling. They’ve grown up with a superpower. The mere mention of their hometown is always enough for people to place them. Cities like those are so well-known, very few people need a map to place them.

For mere mortals, we’re often forced to define ourselves by association. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve said the name of my hometown followed by “it’s near Chester” (in a different country altogether 🙄). Sometimes even that hasn’t sufficed and “close to Liverpool” has been required. Many years ago, when I first started university, I met a girl for whom even that wasn’t enough. I resignedly added “not far from Manchester”, to no avail. Defeated, I gave up. Was she from some far-flung corner of the globe where the place that gave birth to City, United, Liam, Noel and Coronation Street may have be unfamiliar? No. She came from just outside London. Maybe she was teasing me, but she did an Oscar-meriting job of masking it.

All that has changed. Now people from every (slight exaggeration 😙) part of the world are telling me about my hometown 🤔! Anyone interested in football (soccer), Deadpool or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will probably have an idea of where I’m talking about.

Yes, I’m from that place where two North American actors bought an unknown football club. Well, if you’re an Arsenal fan of a certain age, it probably isn’t so unknown* 😛, but Liverpool, Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur are slightly more famous than the mighty Wrexham AFC!

The town has now gained a fame it perhaps never had before due to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney buying the club. Their documentary, Welcome To Wrexham, is being watched in places which had probably never heard of Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿, nevermind Wrecsam, to give the town its native Welsh language name. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been in groups of people, both in person and online, lately who have suddenly started talking about the Reds and wondered why I had a grin 😁. I explain and then the questions come.

This is perhaps another thing New Yorkers, Dubliners and Sydneysiders won’t appreciate. The questions I get asked are very welcome. I can imagine being quizzed about the Statue of Liberty, Guinness or the Opera House for the 10,000th time could become grating, but the novelty hasn’t worn off (yet?) for me. It’s honestly amazing to hear the name “Wrexham” on the lips of people who’ve never been there. All that remains is for the club to start enjoying some success to go with the new-found fame!

*Arsenal fans in their late thirties and older will probably remember when the mighty Wrexham overcame them in the third round of the FA Cup in 91/92. It ranks amongst the greatest giant-killings of all time. We’ve never forgotten it and, yes, I was there that famous day 🏟️.

Tongue-in-cheek emojis have been used liberally throughout this post owing to the fact that I have had absolutely no influence whatsoever on this sudden change of circumstances. That honour goes to Messrs Reynolds and McElhenney. As long as they succeed in returning Wrexham to league football, I won’t hold it against them 😂.