The evening of Monday 17th September saw the launch of the much-anticipated ‘Wrexham Is The Name’ exhibition at Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives, following the fortunes of the football club throughout its near 150-year history.
The highlight of the display is undoubtedly the original Welsh Cup trophy, lent out to the museum by the Welsh FA in recognition of the Dragons’ record 23 wins, the first of which came before the trophy itself even existed! However, nearly as impressive as the famous silverware is the stunning timeline which records the highs and lows of the last century and a half. This comprehensive history starts with Edward Manners telling Denbighshire County Cricket Club that he intended to purchase a football and takes us through promotions, FA cup giant-killings, and the recent turbulent times, right up to last season’s record-breaking 98 point haul. In addition, there’s a host of memorabilia, including the Shropshire Reds’ shirt collection, the FAW Intermediate Challenge Cup, and two Welsh cup winners’ tankards.
Prior to Wrexham legend Dixie McNeil officially opening the collection, council leader Neil Rogers, Glyndwr University vice-chancellor Mike Scott, Wrexham FC director Alan Watkin and Mayor of Wrexham Councillor Ian Roberts all gave speeches expressing their pride in the club’s long history. Mike Scott summed up the mood of the evening when he talked about how keen he had been for the university to step in to safeguard the Racecourse Ground for football, saying that the stadium was “part of understanding what Wrexham is about.” The Mayor thanked everyone who had played a part in putting the exhibition together, particularly Peter Jones for all his hard work in compiling everything, Glyndwr University students Gareth ‘Hugo’ Hughes, John Hayward, Arron Williamson and Liam Higgins who designed the excellent graphics for the display, and photographer Les Evans for allowing the usage of so many of his pictures.
Several of the guests talked to Wrexham.com after seeing the exhibition, with Alan Watkin saying “It’s a pleasure and a matter of great pride that a club the size of Wrexham has had so many marvellous triumphs throughout its long history and also that they’re still so important to our community.” Peter Jones explained to us that the original idea had been to look towards the club’s 140-year anniversary – but as many readers will be aware, it was discovered fairly recently that the club was older than anyone had previously thought! He told us that he was looking forward to the 150th anniversary and hoped that when people saw this exhibition it would encourage them to look for more artefacts from the club’s past.
The final word, though, must go to manager Andy Morrell, who after looking at the display – including reminiscing on his first spell at the club – said he “thoroughly enjoyed the history, and seeing how far Wrexham FC has come”.
“Get down, have a look, and see what Wrexham’s all about. I’d recommend it to anyone!” were Morrell’s closing words to us – and I’d definitely agree with them!
The musuem is open from Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, and from 10.30am to 3pm on Saturdays. Admission is free, and if you want more information, give the museum a call on 01978 297 460.
Also, If you are a Wrexham FC fan keep your eyes peeled as we have a treat lined up in the next couple of days :)