Wrexham: Club history
As hard as it may be to believe, there was a Wrexham AFC before the arrival of Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the club’s current owners.
We are not sure whether the television series the pair are planning will go back as far as 1864, but that is when the club was founded making it the oldest professional club in Wales and the third oldest in the world.
The first game there took place on October 22, 1864 after Wrexham Cricket Club formed its own football team but could only muster 10 players. Unfortunately, their opponents, the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, although merely matching them in numbers, reportedly won the game “comfortably” 2-1.
They do proudly claim that the Racecourse Ground is the oldest international stadium in the world having hosted the Welsh national team in 1877, the side’s first international game which they lost to Scotland.
Those early years saw Wrexham play mostly friendlies before joining The Combination, which was what what passed for league football between 1888 and 1911 and then oddly joined the Birmingham & District League for a spell.
It was not until 1921 that they became founder members of the Football League’s Third Division North where they proudly remained for nearly four decades.
During this time they did achieve what remains their club record attendance as 34,445 souls packed in to the Racecourse to see Manchester United‘s Busby Babes win 5-0 in an FA Cup fourth round tie in 1957.
There was European success in this part of North Wales during this time with the club qualifying for the European Cup Winners’ Cup by virtue of winning the Welsh Cup. Their best effort came in 1975-76 when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition, going out to the eventual winners Belgian champions Anderlecht.
Indeed, cup competitions make up some of the proudest moments of Wrexham’s history with an FA Cup win over top flight champions Arsenal in 1992 among the more memorable nights seen at the club. A thunderous free-kick from former Manchester United and Chelsea winger Mickey Thomas that evening regularly makes an appearance on TV when an FA Cup giant-killing is on the cards.
However, the 21st Century history of Wrexham AFC is less cheerful. In 2002, Mark Guterman, the former chairman of arch rivals Chester City, bought the club and then two years later sold his 78% stake in the club to property developer, Alex Hamilton – you can see where this is going, can’t you?
Hamilton made no secret of his desire to develop the club’s stadium at a meeting of supporters in May 2004. Soon there was talk about ground-sharing at Chester; an attempt to oust the club from the ground; and a winding-up petition from the taxman with debts of more than £5m including an £800,000 tax bill. An administration, a ten-point deduction and numerous court cases later, the club was sold to a consortium headed by local businessman Neville Dickens, who was backed by the club’s supporters’ club and they lived to fight another day.
Despite the upheaval, the club enjoyed some success on the pitch winning the Football League Trophy against Southend United in 2005 in front of 20,000 fans from North Wales inside Wembley, but could not beat the drop to League Two. There they remained by the skin of their teeth in a final day home win over Boston United in 2007, sending their opponents down as the Dragons survived. But the delay was only for one more season as the 2007-08 ended an 87-year stay in the League.
Despite (or because of) appointing Wales striker Dean Saunders, who made his name playing for Liverpool and Aston Villa, the club finished tenth in their first Non-League season. However, with Saunders still in charge they did reach the play-offs in 2010-11 but were defeated 5-1 on aggregate by Luton Town, and Saunders departed for Doncaster Rovers at the start of the following campaign.
His replacement, club legend Andy Morrell, who scored 65 times in two spells for the club, took them to the Conference play-offs twice in the next two seasons. In 2011 they earned a club record tally of 98 points but still ended up five points adrift of champions Fleetwood Town and then lost (again) to Luton in the play-off semi-finals. The following year they went one better and made it to the final where they faced Welsh rivals Newport County, this time losing 2-0. Morrell left midway through the following campaign with the club eventually finishing 17th in the Conference.
A fourth-placed finish in 2018-19 saw them suffer more play-off heartbreak before the aborted 2019-20 campaign saw them finish 19th in a 24-team National League on points per game – the club’s lowest finish since relegation out of the EFL. Last term they were battling for a play-off spot but eventually just missed out in 8th.
It was in November 2020 that RR McReynolds Company LLC, backed by Reynolds and McElhenney, completed a takeover backed by 98.6% of the Wrexham Supporters’ Trust.
They promised the club would not be “relocated, renamed or rebranded” and on February 9 2021 they completed the takeover and confirmed a documentary, Welcome to Wrexham, was in production for FX, a US television network.
Wrexham: We’ve Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Wrexham
|08/11/2003||Home||FA Cup||W||4-1||5049||Gall 39, G.Williams 46, Miles 59, Edwards 66|
|23/11/2019||Away||NLP||D||3-3||3583||Murphy 4, 39, 67|
|29/02/2020||Home||NLP||W||3-0||3040||Duffus 42, Wilkinson 55, Skendi 90+3|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Wrexham
Wrexham: Club Statistics
LAST SIX RESULTS
|06/11/2021||Harrogate Town||Away||FACR1||L||1-2||2403||Ponticelli 38|
|09/11/2021||Aldershot||Away||NLP||W||5-0||1639||Hayden 40, Lennon 44, Hall-Johnson 58, Ponticelli 61, Davies 68|
|13/11/2021||King’s Lynn Town||Away||NLP||W||6-2||1070||Hayden 22, Davies 57, Mullin 62, Ponticelli 76, Jarvis 90, Green 90+4|
|23/11/2021||FC Halifax Town||Away||NLP||W||2-1||3344||Jones 83, Mullin 90|
|27/11/2021||Bromley||Home||NLP||W||2-0||8156||Hall-Johnson 33, Mullin 60|
Highest League Attendance: 9813
Lowest League Attendance: 5454
Average League Attendance: 8205
CURRENT SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win:||0||Games Without A Home Win:||0|
|Games Without An Away Win:||0||Games Without Defeat:||5|
|Games Without A Home Defeat:||9||Games Without An Away Defeat:||3|
|Games Without A Draw:||2||Games Without A Score Draw:||6|
|Games Without A No-Score Draw:||2||Games Without Scoring:||0|
|Games Without Conceding:||1||Home Results Sequence:||DWDDW|
|Away Results Sequence:||DWLLWWW||Overall Results Sequence:||DDWWLDLWWDWW|
Wrexham: Club Information
Telephone Number: 01978 89 1864
Chairman: Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds
Chief Executive: Fleur Robinson
Press Officer: Colin Henrys
Manager: Phil Parkinson
Capacity: 10,500 (all seater)
Covered Terrace: None
Record Attendance : 34,445 – versus Manchester United, 1957.
Colours: Red and white
Nickname: Red Dragons
Tickets for the rearranged fixture at The Racecourse on Tuesday 30th November, 7.45 p.m. kick-off, are on sale. These must be bought on-line – no sales at the stadium on matchday.
Slightly unusually these days, purchase is through the Huish Park Ticket Office rather than via Wrexham: click on LINK.
Concession (65+ and Under 21): £15
Under 18: £8.00
Under 11: £5.00
After the problems during the visit of Torquay United that has resulted in a dozen home fans issued with banning orders and more still under investigation the North Wales Police have insisted Wrexham restructure its internal stadium organisation. Our understanding is the away supporters for our visit will get a section, towards the University end of the stadium, in a corner of the Wrexham Lager Stand. If this is the case entry is via Crispin Lane.
Disabled Info: The Racecourse Ground has 29 spaces for both home and away supporters at pitch level in the Main (Macron) Stand. Partial cover, with helpers sat behind.
A new platform at height was built in 2015 and allows for six wheelchair spaces, with carers, which are assigned by the Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association on a rotating basis to their members. Non-members are also welcome but you will need to contact the DSA in order for them to add you to their rotas. Access to the disabled platform is via the 1864 entrance on Mold Road where there is a lift to gain access to the platform.
For full details of accommodation for disabled supporters – click here.
The club’s Disability Liaison Officer is Kerry Evans who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Away Travel
The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Wrexham on Tuesday, November 30th.
Details are as follows:
Members: Adults £31, Concessions £29
Non-Members: Adults £33, Concessions £31
Coach departs Huish Park: 12.00 p.m.
To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 or email him on email@example.com.
If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.
You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.
Wrexham: Directions To The Ground
Wrexham (Wrecsam) is in Wales, North Wales.
Travelling from Somerset, take the M5 motorway and briefly the M6 until you reach Junction 10A for the M54.
Continue along the M54 until it becomes the A5 which will take you around Shrewsbury, past Owestry and over the border between England and Wales.
Shortly after the A5 becomes the A483, stay on the A483 until you reach Junction 5 where you take the A541 exit to Wrexham/Wrecsam/Mold/Yr Wyddgrug.
At the roundabout, take the forth exit on to Mold Road (A541) and continue straight (2nd exit) at the next roundabout remaining on Mold Road where you will pass Wrexham Glyndwr University.
The Racecourse Ground will quickly come in to view.
Wrexham has two railway stations. Wrexham General station is situated a couple of minutes walk (maybe four to the away turnstiles) from the Racecourse Ground – you can not miss it when you come out of the station. Wrexham Central is 0,7 of a mile from the stadium, so under 15 minutes walk. Both are served by what was formerly Arriva Trains Wales and is now called Transport For Wales, while Wrexham General also has some Avanti West Coast services.
As this is an evening game you won’t be surprised to hear there is absolutely no chance of getting back to Yeovil by train the same night. Even London based Glovers can’t see the whole match and get home the same night.
The Racecourse is central enough that one is unlikely to want buses. However if needed the 12A and 21 are the ones to look out for, running along Mold Road with stops right outside the stadium.
Should a taxi be required there are some numbers here.
Red Passion – a message board (remember those) about all things Wrexham and passionate about red stuff.
The Leader – a newspaper owned by the Newsquest Group.
Daily Post – the newspaper covering North Wales including Wrexham.
Wrexham: Food & Drink
(Proviso: be aware that in the current situation, especially in the field of hospitality, all information is subject to change on very short term notice. Also, remember this one involves a border crossing and the rules can be different to those in England.)
Wrexham has a mass of pubs, bars and eating joints clustered in the town centre in and around the High Street/Town Hill area and adjoining roads. We’ve selected a few from there, plus a couple away from the centre up by the ground.
The oldest pub in Wrexham, the Horse & Jockey, which the Guide has featured previously – a thatched timber-framed 17th Century building that wouldn’t look out of place in Chester – was long-term closed, with its future as a pub very much in doubt, when this guide was updated for August when this fixture was originally scheduled… and remained closed as we approached the end of November.
Royal Oak: Joule’s Brewery pub in the High Street, around a hundred yards from the Fat Boar (above). Wet-led pub, no meals when we last there though the website implies it does (not sure we believe it). Stocks three of their beers on hand pump (most usually Pale Ale, Slumbering Monk and Pure Blonde) plus an additional two guests. Also serves Real Cider and, as well as more international kegs like Guinness and Carling, has Joule’s own Green Monkey Helles Lager. A very narrow frontage belies a bar that carries on deeper than one expects. There’s a roof top beer garden open April to September. We’re also unconvinced about the opening times shown on its website and think these may be more likely: Monday closed, 4.00 p.m. – midnight Tuesday and Wednesday, noon – midnight Thursday and Sunday, noon – 12.30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Disabled access. Sports TV. Roped off area to the front on the pavement with a few tables and chairs and a small yard at the back.
Turf Hotel: Has its own Wikipedia entry ( Turf Hotel – Wikipedia ), claiming to be the only pub in the United Kingdom to be built within the grounds of a football club – though Kidderminster Harriers might well argue with that. Owned by Marston’s (though possibly not any more as it’s no longer listed on their website), it served a couple of cask ales and stuff from their keg range when was last there a couple of years ago. Appears to have started serving Wrexham Lager by Wrexham Lager Company and some cans of ‘craft’ beers recently. Obviously packed out when there’s a game on, it does usually puts on some basic food provision on matchdays. Sports TV and a pool table. (Sometimes restricts access of away fans if there’s a large crowd expected.) Distance from the ground: 0.0 miles.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You: Can if they want. Despite being North Wales there’s not a lot who can speak Welsh – 12.9% in the county as a whole and lower than that in the county town according to the 2011 census figures – in Wrexham. So if they pretend not to follow West Country English it’s a good indication they don’t like you and are making an active choice. Suck it up – it’s their patch.
Top-Tip: Hollywood, Hollywood, Hollywood. It will of course end in tears at some point in the future. But at the moment they are very VERY excited by it all, so just smile and indulge them – bless!
Wrexham Local Amenities: As a small county town of a small County Borough it’s got what one might expect – not a lot. There is a (smallish) University with around 8,000 students. And The Racecourse officially still has International Stadium status, though the days of the senior team playing there have long gone.
Other Points Of Interest: Robbie Savage was born in Wrexham. The town has never recovered from this blow.
[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]