Author: Irshad Hussain
“Elliot Lee, the offspring of Rob, is excelling at Hollywood’s beloved National League club and eager to face Sheffield United in the FA Cup rematch.”
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In Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth-round replay, Elliot Lee (left) and his team Wrexham will face Sheffield United. The credit for the image goes to Getty Images/Oli Scarff.
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Following Wrexham’s 3-3 tie with Sheffield United in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Hollywood celebrity Ryan Reynolds, the club owner, visited the dressing room to personally congratulate the players on their impressive performance. The players were not stunned by Reynolds’ presence as the owners, including Reynolds and Rob McElhenney of the hit American sitcom “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”, regularly show their support for the team. According to Elliot Lee, who made his debut for West Ham a decade ago, this type of involvement from the owners is a welcome change from other clubs where the owners are not connected to the team and its players. The owners of Wrexham are highly appreciated by the players as they not only care about the players’ performance on the field, but also their well-being as individuals. This creates a sense of belonging and purpose among the team.
Lee is happy to be part of a club where Ryan Reynolds and his partner, despite their celebrity and wealth, value the players as individuals and not just as athletes.
Lee, the offspring of former Charlton and Newcastle midfielder Rob, joined Wrexham from Luton last summer. Previously, he was part of the Luton team that earned consecutive promotions to League One and the Championship. However, from the moment he met Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson, Lee’s concerns about taking a step back in his career were quelled. He explains that he was looking for a project to be a part of and when the opportunity presented itself with Wrexham, he knew this was where he wanted to be. He is thoroughly enjoying his time at the National League club and considers it to be one of the most exciting projects in football.
The Hollywood owners have made a remarkable impact on Wrexham, bringing attention to the once-forgotten club. Lee notes that the club’s transformation, due in part to the documentary “Welcome to Wrexham” on Disney+, has taken some getting used to. The show, which follows the owners’ journey to revive the club, is continuously being filmed, so the players are constantly aware that their actions may be captured on camera. Lee mentions that he had to sign a consent form to be part of the documentary and that the presence of cameras and interviews has become a regular part of life at the club. Despite this, Lee has adjusted to the situation and sees it as just another aspect of daily life.
Lee hopes that the second season of the documentary will showcase the team’s good football skills. As they showed against Sheffield United, a Championship contender, the team can compete. Lee notes that they have a strong set piece game, thanks to Ben Tozer’s long throws, but also have skills on and off the ball. Despite their disappointment in conceding the winning goal in the last second, the team knows they put on a great performance.
For further motivation, Lee looks to his family history. He watched his father, former Newcastle midfielder Rob, play in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea in 2000. Lee, who made his debut for West Ham in the FA Cup, considers it the best competition. Although the priority for the club is to restore its Football League status, Lee believes a Cup run will bring confidence to the team. Despite the pressure from the documentary, Lee hopes that a Cup upset will still be something to celebrate.