Wrexham pals become Leeds United fans after Ryan Reynolds show makes club 'too popular'

Bob and Neal
-Credit: (Image: Mark Williams)

A pair of Wrexham pals have become Leeds fans after the Ryan Reynolds documentary made the Welsh club too popular, with too many new fans ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.

Mark ‘Bob’ Williams, who cares for blind pal Neal Tunnah, says the Welcome to Wrexham series made it just too difficult for the pair to get tickets. He’s added that lots of loyal supporters are ‘not happy at all’ with the club’s newfound global popularity.

Hollywood heavyweight Reynolds, known for playing Deadpool, and comedy star Rob McElhenney, took over the North Wales club in 2021. The docuseries became a mega-hit after it began airing on Disney Plus and FX the following year.

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It showed the club’s rise from the National League, League Two and it will show its promotion to League One by the end of the current third season of the show.

Bob and Neal used to regularly attend Wrexham games together. Bob has been an avid Wrexham AFC fan ever since he was young child. His nickname Bob even comes from his favourite Wrexham player Bobby Shinton, a winger who helped the Dragons win the Football League Third Division title and was involved in a host of FA Cup giant killing results.

Bob and Neal have been to five Leeds matches together, travelling all the way from Wrexham each time
Bob and Neal have loved watching 'good football' at Leeds this season -Credit:Mark Williams

But ever since the documentary, home tickets have been hard to secure. Bob said: “It really is hard to get tickets for Wrexham because you’ve got all the new people who’ve now jumped onto the bandwagon. A few years ago before the takeover, we were getting two or three thousand a game, now we’re getting 11,000 to 12,000, and it’s really hard for the loyal supporters to get anything.

“It is a good thing but it’s also bad as they’ve got to think about the people who have supported them for 30 or 40 years. Some of them are not happy at all with it.”

Bob went on to say that may change with Reynolds and McElhenney’s plans to extend the stadium which currently has a 12,600 seat capacity. However, in the meantime, the pair have become big Leeds United fans.

Their passion for Leeds all stems from the day Neal was taken to see Don Revie’s mighty Leeds team at Elland Road in 1972. He fell in love with the squad ever since, and had them as a second team.

Bob and Neal have been to five Leeds matches together, travelling all the way from Wrexham each time
Bob and Neal say the disability liaison team at Leeds have been really helpful -Credit:Mark Williams

Sick of missing out on football matches, Neal asked Bob to take him to go to Leeds games this season. They’ve said the disability liaison team have been very helpful in terms of getting tickets. Ahead of each game, Bob, who lives in Chester, travels back to Wrexham each time to pick up pal Neal, and they head down to Leeds the night before and stay in a hotel.

Bob said: “Neal asked me to take him to a game. We rang them up and spoke to the disability liaison officer Nicola. We’ve managed to go to about five home games.

“It’s good football at Leeds and I’d seen them on TV, so I was glad Neal asked me to take him, to be honest. I really got into watching Leeds this season, they’re brilliant. They’ve played some good interesting football and have got some good players.”

Neal has four percent of his vision left but still loves going to Elland Road -Credit:Mark Williams

Bob also likes the fact Leeds currently has four players who play for the Wales national team. “I feel sorry for Daniel James, he was brilliant when he played on Sunday,” he added, commenting on the Whites’ devastating 1-0 loss to Southampton in the Championship Play-Off Final.

“I was a bit upset but I’ve had that watching Wrexham at Wembley, as well. We’re going to renew our Leeds memberships and hopefully we can get out to some away games, as well.”

Wrexham AFC was asked for a comment.

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