‘Hollywood Fancy Dans’
Just one of the many descriptions used by the Bitter Twitterati since the Wrexham AFC takeover news sent shockwaves through the sporting world.
If it made little sense to us Town fans to begin with, then I guess you have to have a modicum of sympathy for those watching on in astonishment and bewilderment outside the confines of LL11.
However, now the dawn of realisation has hit them our precious club has the eyes of the world on it.
Make no mistake, we WILL become that team many people love to hate whether we like it or not. Over the years we’ve scowled at the likes of Fleetwood and Salford flexing their wallets to reach the Football League promised land.
But Andy Pilley ain’t no Deadpool and Peter Lim is more likely to pass you by unnoticed in the street than Rob McElhenney, with his beautiful Hulk Hogan-esque moustache.
We’re on a pedestal now, one encrusted with Hollywood diamonds. Despite the takeover giving 2020 a feelgood, sprinkling of stardust there will be plenty of people wanting both the club and its owners to fail.
Forget Chester, Shrewsbury, Tranmere. Even the ones with some credibility amongst their number will concede Wrexham is and always has been geared for nothing less than league football. They’ve just revelled in seeing us continue our National League membership for 13 seasons.
The spite and jealously reaches far beyond our rivals. ‘Poxy' Wrexham, dubbed glue-sniffing Daily Star reader Clive for his 25p worth.
Even Kings Lynn’s finest Dracula impersonator Stephen Cleeve (probably Cockney rhyming slang for ‘sleeve’) claimed in his podcast the only reason Ryan and Rob chose Wrexham is purely because it will make good TV.
Clearly Cleeve hasn’t seen any Wrexham games post-Salford Boxing Day Beatdown 2018 and pre-Sutton annihilation last Tuesday night. More Depression Is The Name than Wrexham Is The Name. Certainly enough tragi-comedy to make you spill your half-time cup of Bovril down your siaced Steve Cleeve.
Joking aside, WITN will make compelling TV. Much like Sunderland ‘Til I Die the production team behind our storytelling will need characters surrounding the main protagonists of the owners, management and players. Secretary Geraint Parry, programme seller and bus kangaroo Timmy Bins, Wayne/Matt Damon at the Turf, Dan and Matty in the club shop, film buff Rob Clarke in the People’s Market, exiled diehards in Iceland, Canada and Luxembourg. The list goes on.
They, we, are the fabric that bind this community with our club. They have forgotten more about the club than the owners and the documentary crew will ever learn about it.
Local knowledge and passion is what made the Sunderland documentary so heartfelt. The fan who is a taxi driver, the girls in the ticket office. I can’t remember their names but I can recall just how much the Mackems means to them and how crushed they were to see a huge club tumble down the leagues.
The premise is the same here. If Wrexham was in a lonely hearts column it would read something like this:
elderly lady in red seeks younger man for lots of fun times and to help recapturemy youth. Must be loyal, humble, patient and understanding. Ideally a family man as I have a large and loving circle around me. No chancers or crooks. Diolch. W. x.
It seems everything is being documented by the film crew. The online buying pitch of Ryan and Rob, fans watching the game in the pub, the cruel but necessary dismantling of the kop.
One can safely assume that Rob and Ryan’s charm offensive will feature heavily in the first few episodes.
I was struck by their ability to make us feel like we’ve been talking online together for ages, akin to digital pen friends who fell for one another upon first contact but neither quite had the balls to say how they felt until that perfect moment.
After the initial swzooming (swooning on Zoom — I made it up) the first steps in turning the Reds into a ‘global force’ were taken. I imagine the club shop, having gathered dust for much of the year resembled the Next sale on New Year’s Day —-pure retail carnage with rails stripped bare by those wanting a piece of the action.
Shirt sales have gone through the roof and landed on doormats around the globe. Ah, there’s that surrealness kicking back in.
One of my mates took to social media expressing his distaste at the sudden increase in new Wrexham fans popping up all over the place. And whilst I understand where he is coming from we all have to accept that the interest, whether fly-by-night or long-term is part and parcel of this unexpected journey.
Wrexham AFC has been an exclusive club for several thousand of us for so long, maybe too long.
The new regime has pricked the curiosity of the uninitiated. If that means in seven or eight years time I’m on holiday in the Gambia and a local spots my Wrexham shirt (or i spot his!) and hollers “yes! Deadpool! Wrexham! Great club. Welcome”, then I’ll embrace that giant stride into popular culture for the club, rather than shy away from it because we’re just not that ‘underground’ any more.
I’m excited. I’m nervous, even a little bit apprehensive at times. But I, you, us, are the present and correct fanbase who will witness and be a part of what could be the greatest ever time to be a Wrexham fan/follower/curious observer.
As someone who was born in ’79 and therefore missed out on the big European adventures and original golden years, I can repeat now in text what they wrote in song back then:
‘History only tells a story. We are here to see your glory.”
It does. And we are.
We are finally the fortunate who’ve been unfortunate for so long.
Whereas before Wrexham Is The Blame, Wrexham Is The Shame, now Wrexham most certainly Is The Name, not just on my or your lips but of those of so many who’ve never so much as uttered the town before. We’re firmly back on the map. Embrace every bit of it.
**any pictures other than my own were used in good faith. Thank you for the use. Any issues please get in touch**