Posted: Fri 9th Dec 2022

Rob and Ryan give King Charles III a tour of the Racecourse stadium

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 9th, 2022

This morning the King visited Wrexham Association Football Club, and met owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

The King and The Queen Consort arrived just before midday at Wrexham AFC and were formally received by the Deputy Lieutenant of Clwyd Lady Susan Hudson and Sir Mark Hudson.

After walking through the Player’s Tunnel, the royal party were introduced to the club’s Chief Executive, Fleur Robinson and Executive Director, Humphrey Ker.

Wrexham AFC’s Co-Chairmen Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney accompanied The King and The Queen Consort onto the pitch.

The group met the First, Women’s and Youth Teams before posing for a photograph in the centre circle.

The King was heard wishing players luck for their upcoming game on Saturday, while Camilla told another player: “It’s an extraordinary story.”

The tour continued into the Mold Road stand, up the stairs lined by Wrexham AFC staff from the club shop, administration team, coaches and medical staff.

The King joked about the pitch to head groundsman Paul Chaloner, saying: “It is proper grass isn’t it, not that plastic stuff?”

During the visit the King and The Queen Consort learnt about the redevelopment of the club from the Strategic Advisor to the Board, Shaun Harvey and met with contractors and architects involved in the project.

Finally, The King visited the 1864 Suite where he met Disabled Liaison Officer for Wrexham AFC, Kerry Evans and Power Chair participants.

A range of former players, partners and life-long supporters of Wrexham AFC also met the royal party.

The King and Camilla went on to meet disabled liaison officer for Wrexham AFC, Kerry Evans, and participants of Powerchair football.
Ms Evans, 47, said : “It’s very, very special, what an honour.
“The King and Camilla both said it’s absolutely amazing the work we’ve been doing here.
“I never thought we’d have royalty at the club, now we’ve had Hollywood royalty and real royalty!”
Wrexham AFC was the first club in Wales to offer Powerchair football, a team participation sport for people who use electric wheelchairs.
The royal couple also met 97-year-old Wrexham fan Arthur Massey.

Speaking to media ahead of their meeting, Reynolds said: “I would say that we’re impossibly excited to welcome him to the Racecourse ground, this historic church that resides in the heart of Wrexham and is the heart of Wrexham.

“Rob and I both said early on, and this holds true and for the rest of our lives, we will do anything to uplift and elevate this community and this club and having the King pay a visit is certainly one way to do it. That’s for sure. Very excited.”

The actors said they had not watched the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial Netflix show, which aired the day before the visit.

McElhenney said: “I’ve never heard of it.”

McElhenney said he thought the King must be a fan of the club.

He said: “This is an incoming call. So we hope that he’s a fan. If not, we’ll make him a fan.”

Reynolds said he hoped to talk to the monarch about the work they were doing to improve the club and stadium.

He said: “I would love to tell him a little bit about what it is that we’re hoping to achieve with the renovation of the Kop stand, and it’s not even a renovation, I would say that it’s a complete reimagining of the Kop stand, and what that will mean to not just the club, but the community of Wrexham as well.”

Asked if he might offer them a gift of Aviation Gin, the company which he owns, Reynolds said: “I don’t want to compete with the Royal gin now. That might create a conflict of interest.”

FULL IMAGE GALLERY FROM THE VISIT:
Click for big versions.

(images via Royal Rota)



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