National League side Wrexham have enjoyed a historic cup run this year, most recently taking Championship team Sheffield United to a replay. On Saturday the fifth-tier Welsh side drew 3-3 against their more illustrious visitors and made headlines around the world.
Wrexham are co-owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and the club’s exploits have been shared around the world with the hit series ‘Welcome to Wrexham’. American sports fans have clearly become engrossed with the story because their recent FA Cup fixture drew more viewers in the United States than any other soccer game that weekend, according to ESPN.
The network revealed that, across the various ESPN+ digital platforms, Wrexham vs Sheffield United was the most followed game. Despite conceding late to take the tie to a replay, Wrexham owner Reynolds joked that they had decided to “green light the sequel”, such was the interest in the team.
Lowly Wrexham not only secured more watchers than Liverpool in their trip to Brighton & Hove Albion, but also drew more interest Real Madrid against Real Sociedad; Ligue 1 title-holders PSG facing Reims; and a table-topping clash between Napoli and Roma in Italy.
Blake Lively buys ESPN+ to follow Reynolds’ tribulations
The ‘Made in Wrexham’ documentary series has been credited with bringing new fans to the sport, particularly in the US. Reynolds and McElhenney are fairly recent converts to soccer, but they are relative veterans compared to Reynolds’ wife, Blake Lively.
The actress revealed on Instagram that she had taken out a subscription for ESPN+ for the Wrexham game last weekend to follow along with her husband, who had flown to Wales to be in the stadium for the match.
“I bought espn+ today. Just to watch my husband experience crippling anxiety live,” she wrote, alongside a picture of Reynolds looking particularly stressed on the live coverage. “Worth it.”
- Ryan Reynolds celebrates Wrexham’s huge FA Cup audience on ESPN
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