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Welcome To LA . . . Wrexham Feel At Home As Paul Mullin Does What He Does In Wales


By Gareth James

After Hollywood came to Wrexham and shone the brightest of global spotlights on them, the club returned the favour with a visit to Los Angeles at the weekend.

Fans sporting red Wrexham shirts outnumbered those backing MLS reserve team LA Galaxy II at the friendly in Carson, which was won 4-0 by Wrexham in the second of the club’s four-match ‘USA Invasion’ tour.

Marvelling at the scene from the sidelines was Wayne Jones, owner of The Turf pub and a breakout star of “Welcome to Wrexham,” which chronicles Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s takeover of the club since November 2020.

“We’ve had an incredible welcome and we’re absolutely stoked to be here. It’s such a brilliant city and massive compared to what we’re used to,” Jones said.

He added that the club, who in April got their Hollywood ending when they were promoted to the Football League after a 15-year absence, were “light years” away from where they had been three years ago.

“Every day Wrexham fans wake up and pinch themselves because we’ve had a real rough ride in the past two or three decades, so to be where we are now is incredible,” he said.

“Everywhere we go, there seems to be a Wrexham fan. That’s how it feels. Once they find out where we’re from, that’s it — they all want to talk about Paul Mullin or the show or what The Turf is like.

“Who could have predicted all this? I’d had a taste through the pub, obviously, with all the tourists coming in during the past year — It’s been great to play a part in welcoming them — but even I’ve been surprised by the support that exists out here.

“I’m here with my cousin (Jack) and we must have spoken to the best part of 200 people during our first day in LA. All of them had flown in just for the game, coming from all parts of America.”

Fans sipped on Wrexham-themed drinks at a replica of The Turf pub on a warm Southern California night and, despite being swamped at every turn by photo-seeking fans, Jones balked at the suggestion that he was now famous.

“I don’t see myself as a celebrity, I just work at a bar. I see myself as a humble, down to earth, working class guy,” he said.

“We’re on the rides of our lives at the moment but ultimately what we care about is the community and the football club and if both of them are thriving, which both appear to be, we will embrace it.”

After a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in North Carolina on Wednesday, Wrexham, found it much easier going in the shadows of Hollywood.

Paul Mullin was once again the key man for Wrexham, providing two assists and a goal of his own.

After a goalless opening half, Mullin laid on two goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period to help the Welsh club ease to victory against a young Galaxy second team.

First Mullin found Andrew Cannon with a fine pass in behind the Galaxy II defence to put Wrexham in front in the 47th minute.

Eight minutes later, he calmly laid off a cross into the path of Elliott Lee to slot home with a low first-time finish.

Mullin, scorer of 38 goals last season to help Wrexham reach League Two, then found the net himself in the 65th minute after sliding in to force the ball home from close range.

Three minutes later, substitute Anthony Forde rounded out the scoring after following up on a saved shot.

Wrexham face Manchester United on Tuesday in San Diego before wrapping up their tour with a visit to Chester, Pennsylvania for a match against Bethlehem Steel on Saturday.

Season two of “Welcome to Wrexham” is set to begin streaming in the U.S. on Sept. 12.


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