July 20, 2024

Ifor Williams Trailers ; Pictured Hannah Jones of IWT with Martin Bodden, Rich Hughes, Ger Parry, Kevin Roberts, Les Morris, Karl Priddin and Rob Tudor. Picture Mandy Jones

Diehard Wrexham AFC fans who work for shirt sponsors Ifor Williams Trailers are hoping for a happy Hollywood ending after the sale of the club to superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney was completed.

There were whoops of joy from supporters at the iconic company’s factories in Corwen, Cynwyd, Sandycroft and on Deeside Industrial Estate when news that the deal had been finalised came through.

They are confident the takeover by Deadpool star Reynolds and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s McElhenney heralds the beginning of a new golden era for the historic club that’s the third oldest in the world.

The prospects were less glamorous when Ifor Williams Trailers became sponsors in 2015 and the firm’s director Carole Williams pledged to stick by the club when the Covid-19 pandemic struck and the future looked bleak for football.

Fast forward seven months and the club is the toast of Tinseltown, with the stars’ video including a spoof sales pitch for the trailer company racking up an incredible five million hits.

Among the television crews beating a path to Ifor Williams Trailers to find the story behind the story was American giant ABC News who even brought a cardboard cut-out of Ryan Reynolds along with them.

Production operative Kevin Roberts, a lifelong Wrexham fan, is still pinching himself and dreaming of Premiership football – and possibly even signing Gareth Bale one day.

He said: “Wrexham fans have put up with a lot of heartbreak over the years. This is just totally unbelievable really, it’s something that people dream of.

“Ryan and Rob appear to be such nice and genuine people. This could be the launchpad for something brilliant.

“People are already betting on where Wrexham are going to finish in the Premier League and whether Gareth Bale is going to sign. It’s opened so many doors.”

His joy is shared by production support operative Martin Bodden who said: “This is wonderful news – it’s been such a strange time over the past year and this has put a smile on people’s faces as we embark on a brand new year.

“I’m a massive Wrexham fan so I’m still on cloud nine. I can’t stop smiling, I’m over the moon with it.

“Everyone at Ifor Williams Trailers is talking about it, even the people who aren’t fans of football. The atmosphere is electric, it’s phenomenal really.

“Success won’t happen overnight but, with the foundations we’ve put in, the club can move on and hopefully achieve great things in the future.

“The glory years of Wrexham saw us in the old Second Division, now known as the Championship. Hopefully, we can go one better now and reach the Premiership. The fanbase is there. We’re living the dream.”

It was a sentiment echoed by team leader Robert Tudor who has supported Wrexham for more than 30 years.

He said: “I’ve been there through the bad times and hopefully the good times are here now.

“Wrexham is a proper football club and it’s deserved better for a long time.

“As someone who works for Ifor Williams Trailers, I’m very proud to see that name in front of the shirt.”

Team Leader Karl Priddin started supporting Wrexham 25 years ago.

He said: “I was lucky enough to see the Arsenal game with the great goal by Mickey Thomas and the last minute goal by Steve Watkin which a lot of people forget about.

“The dream now is to reach the Premiership but we’ve got to be patient.

“We’d love to welcome teams like Manchester United and Liverpool to the Racecourse. You want to fill the ground and get that atmosphere as it was back in the 70s and 80s. That’s what the fans want and that’s what they deserve.”

Forklift truck driver Les Morris was bitten by the bug when he saw Wrexham demolish Bradford 6-0 back in 1966.

He said: “The last decade has been really dire so hopefully this will give us a massive boost. It has done already.

“We still have a great fanbase. The number of fans who go to watch the matches is amazing. The sky’s the limit.”

Ifor Williams Trailers director Carole Williams said: “Confirmation that the sale of the club to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney has been completed is fantastic news for the fans, the club, the town of Wrexham and the whole of North Wales.

“It’s given everyone a timely boost when the cloud of coronavirus has been hanging over us.

“It has been really encouraging to see that Ryan and Rob have done their homework to get under the skin of the club. They clearly understand and respect the club’s history, its sense of community and the passion of the fans, many of whom work at Ifor Williams Trailers.

“That’s why the takeover bid attracted the overwhelming support of the fans with more than 98 per cent of them voting in favour of the sale.

“We have always been proud to sponsor Wrexham and we hope and believe the future of this precious club is in safe hands.”