THE IMPACT of Wrexham AFC's takeover by two Hollywood stars has been felt all around the world by now but, of course, none more so than throughout north Wales.

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney became the Reds' co-chairman back in February 2021.

Since then, the pair have helped take the club to unprecedented levels of popularity.

They have also taken Wrexham back to the English Football League after a 15-year absence and put the football club and its community on the map with the 'Welcome to Wrexham' documentary.

Understandable then that the people of Wrexham and Wrexham fans adore their two famous club owners.

But, one fan in particular has taken that admiration a step further by naming his child after them.

Ben Hartley, from Holywell, managed to persuade his partner, Ianthe Todd, to name their son Xander Rob-Ryan in tribute to the co-chairmen.

Born on January 10, Ben shared the news with the Wrexham AFC Fans Chat group on Facebook.

He said: "Mum and baby are fine. Yes I did name my sons middle names after Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds because why the hell not?"

He added that Xander's start to life was a tough one as he was admitted to the Special Care Baby Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Ben said: "He has been through the mill and back. He is still not out of the woods but like all Wrexham fans he will keep on fighting."


The Leader caught up with Ben this week and he explained more about his decision to name Xander after his Wrexham heroes.

He said: "I have two other sons and their both named after my Taid, as he was a major figure in my life. My family has been watching Wrexham for decades. 

"I went to my first match when I was 5. I’ve watched them be relegated from League One to League Two and finally to the National League.

"Rob and Ryan brought hope when there was none. They are genuinely lovely people, and have bought so much happiness to everyone’s lives including mine.

The Leader: PIC: Adorable Xander Rob-Ryan has been named after Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.

"That's why I had to convince my partner that I wanted to name my son after them."

Ben added: "Xander was born with 3,000 platelets when he should of had 150,000, so he has had blood transfusions and immunoglobulin. After 16 days, he came home on oxygen but might still have to go to Alder Hey. But, he is absolutely fine.

"He is loving life and loved his attention from all the Wrexham fans in the hospital."