CHESTER joint boss Anthony Johnson says he will do all he can to make sure Wrexham’s new owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds’ dream of the Reds facing the Blues again comes true.

In their initial zoom meeting with Wrexham fans before Christmas, the Hollywood actors had obviously done their homework on the Welsh club’s history, including three digs of ‘always beat Chester’ in their plans for the future.

That didn’t go un-noticed down the A483 at The Deva Stadium where Johnson gratefully accepted the challenge.

“I did see that at the time and I did have a laugh at it but we will be doing all we possibly can to make their dream come true because I would love to savour a Chester against Wrexham derby,” said Johnson.

“Football’s a tribal sport and we’re a bit spoilt for choice with derbies in the North West, Manchester and Merseyside but the rivalry doesn’t come more fierce than Chester and Wrexham.

“Both sets of fans are really passionate, there’s the obvious cross border theme and the atmosphere’s electric in games like those.”

While the Reds’ promotion push has, unsurprisingly, gained momentum since the mega-rich movie stars bought the club from fan-owned Wrexham Supporters Trust, Chester’s promising season has ground to a halt.

They are third in National League North - the league below Wrexham - but will have no chance of moving on up after the campaign was declared null and void after they and a number of other clubs said it was the only option after a row over how the government’s winter survival funding would be allocated.

By the time next season starts, Wrexham could be back in the Football League but Johnson claims all the exposure of their high-profile owners could work against them.

“Wrexham are the biggest club in the league along with Notts County,” added Johnson. “And if they weren’t already because of their stadium, they’ll become everyone’s cup final. Everyone will want to beat them.

“And then you’ve got the documentary going on alongside it and that will make things much harder too.”

Johnson speaks from experience having been a star of the hit Salford City-based documentary Class of ‘92: Out of Their League.

Johnson and Bernard Morley - the other part of the managerial double act - became stars of the small screen as they were tasked with leading Salford through the non-league pyramid with television cameras following their every move.

The owners of Salford were, of course, the famous ex-Manchester United and England quintet of Nevilles, Gary and Phil, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, which helped make it compelling viewing.

Johnson and Morley guided Salford to a hat-trick of promotions in just four seasons as the duo were thrown in the deep end - in terms of starring in a documentary if not the art of football management - when they were appointed in January 2015.

“It was all good publicity for us and the club and it helped put us in the public domain,” added Johnson. “We were a couple of nobodies from Bury in-front of some cameras but we bought into it. You had to buy into it.

“We’d had no media training or anything like that, but I suppose that’s why it makes such good television.

“The same thing will happen at Wrexham but Dean Keates has been in the game long enough to know he’s just got to keep concentrating on what happens out on the pitch.”

Johnson insists he doesn’t watch any re-runs of the show but added: “If they want to come down here and film us at Chester and pay us loads of money then we’ll do another series.”

Any Reds’ derby with the Blues is worth watching and the last of the cross-border battles was in March 2018 when goals from Scott Quigley and Nicky Deverdics earned Keates’ side a 2-0 win at The Racecourse.

It turned out to be Keates’ last game in charge as he walked out on the Reds to become boss of his home-town club, Walsall.