Wrexham clinches promotion in 2nd season under Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney

Wrexham earned its first promotion in 14 years. (Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes)
Wrexham earned its first promotion in 15 years. (Action Images via Reuters/Ed Sykes)

The second season of "Welcome to Wrexham" is going to get a happy ending.

Wrexham, the fifth-tier Welsh soccer team that found prominence rarely seen at its level thanks to its purchase by American actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, clinched promotion and the National League title on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Boreham Wood. The club's record currently sits at 34-8-3, four points ahead of second-place Notts County with only one game remaining in the season.

The club is now headed to fourth-tier League Two and will rejoin the English Football League.

Boreham Wood got off to a quick start with a goal in the first minute, but Wrexham responded with goals in the 16th, 52nd and 72nd minutes.

Paul Mullin scored the final two goals to seal the win over Wrexham.

The promotion ends a 15-year stay in the fifth tier for Wrexham, which competed in the second tier as recently as 2002. The club had hit hard times over the last decade and was brought to the financial brink when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Many Hulu subscribers are familiar with what happened next. McElhenney, a noted Philadelphia sports fan, reportedly grew interested in owning a soccer team after watching the docuseries "Sunderland 'Til I Die" and pulled in Reynolds as a partner.

Reynolds and McElhenney purchased the team for a reported $2.5 million and documented the experience on the Hulu series "Welcome to Wrexham," which immediately boosted the club's profile and its financial resources.

Wrexham co-owners Rob McElhenney (left) and Ryan Reynolds are moving up in the football world. (Action Images via Reuters/Ed Syke)
Wrexham co-owners Rob McElhenney (left) and Ryan Reynolds are moving up in the football world. (Action Images via Reuters/Ed Syke)

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney get their promotion

Together, the new owners and Wrexham's existing leadership overhauled the club, hiring manager Phil Parkinson and acquiring players like Paul Mullin and Ollie Palmer with the stated intention of pursuing a quick promotion and the financial resources that come with It.

That investment didn't pay off immediately, as Wrexham finished its first season of new ownership second in a league where only first place guarantees promotion, then fell to Grimsby Town in the semifinals of the playoffs.

Reynolds and McElhenney's second season was far more successful but saw them competing all season with Notts County atop the table. Disaster struck last month when goalkeeper Rob Lainton was sidelined by a knee injury, but Wrexham managed to coax former Premier League goalkeeper Ben Foster, a former Wrexham player, out of retirement.

While promotion was clinched Saturday, the season was effectively decided on April 10 in a pivotal game against Notts County. The winner of that match received the inside track for promotion, and a 3-2 win down came down to a last-minute penalty save by Foster.

Wrexham now heads to League Two, while the producers of "Welcome to Wrexham" can breathe easy their second season won't be a repeat of the first.