As they say, hope is what kills you as a football fan – just ask Ryan Reynolds.
The Hollywood actor experienced the full range of emotions on Sunday as he watched Wrexham – the club Reynolds co-owns with Rob McElhenny – 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 at the Racecourse Ground, the 46-year-old actor was left at the mercy of a rollercoaster that saw Wrexham come within a hair’s breadth of a famous victory.
The game started badly for Wrexham as the Welsh side fell behind in the opening two minutes.
But inspired by the incredible atmosphere in the stadium, Wrexham fought back in the second half to take a 2-1 lead.
The roar that greeted Wrexham’s goals was testament to the culture the club’s new ownership helped establish after taking over, as fans began to believe in a footballing miracle taking place under the floodlights.
Reynolds appeared to lose all composure as he hugged friends and family before celebrating with fans around him.
But, as any football fan will tell you, the sport can be cruel and there were more twists and turns to come.
Sheffield United, who are strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League next season, equalized shortly after Wrexham took the lead but were then dealt a blow as Daniel Jebison was sent off after an off-the-ball incident.
With their extra-man advantage, Wrexham looked on top and the underdogs looked to have progressed to the fifth round after the team’s star striker Paul Mullin made it 3-2 in the 86th minute.
Reynolds greeted Mullin’s goal with wild celebrations, but it was a game with an outcome straight out of a Hollywood script.
With one of the last strikes of the game, Sheffield United equalized through John Egan, denying Wrexham a memorable win – at least for now.
“It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever seen,” Reynolds said Twitter after the game.
“Thank you to every Wrexham supporter who came out and poured their hearts into this pitch tonight.”
The replay will take place on February 7 at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane, with a place in the next round earned.
The drawing for the fifth round will take place on Monday at 2pET.
McElhenny and Reynolds made headlines when they completed the takeover of the club in 2021, with ambitions to take the Welsh side to the Premier League.
At the time of the takeover, Wrexham had been absent from 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, with results on the pitch also improving as the owners continue to invest in the team.
The team is currently leading 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, having been founded before the Welsh Football League was established.
It’s a long road, but the Hollywood couple seems content to stay. The team’s performance in the FA Cup so far this season certainly speaks to a successful future.
“We are here now. We’re not going anywhere but up,” McElhenny tweeted after the game on Sunday.