Up The Town! 5 Lovely Surprises From 'Welcome To Wrexham'

Paul Mullin stands on the steps of the stands facing the team name in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 3

Paul Mullin in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 3


Welcome To Wrexham – FX’s sports docu-series about the increasingly good fortunes of a historic but seemingly ill-fated Welsh football club — returns to our screens in May 2024, barely six months after Season 2’s finale, with a two-episode premiere for the series’ third season. We’ve covered the fortunes of Wrexham AFC and its celebrity owners, Rob McElhenney (Mythic Quest) and Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), a few times, and even if you’ve never watched an episode, you’ll be able to dive right in with Season 3 and not be lost. 

The new season’s trailer arrived hot on the heels of Wrexham AFC clinching promotion to League One for the 2025 season, allowing them to bypass a dreaded playoff series. It’s the Red Dragons’ second promotion in as many years, so even though there will be plenty of opportunities for nail-biting anxiety (this is a sports reality show, after all), viewers can go into the third season with the reassurance that no matter what sticky situations the team gets itself into, success is assured.

If you’re a completist type of new viewer who likes to get all of their assigned reading done ahead of class, Welcome to Wrexham’s first two seasons are available to stream on Hulu and Disney+ in their entirety. They’re solid binge options, featuring both standard 42-minute episodes and bite-sized episodes under 30 minutes. If you’re a Cliff’s Notes kind of person, though, there’s no shame in relying on a high-quality study aid. To get a feel for the series, read on for some surprising — let’s call them winning! — highlights of Wrexham’s first two seasons.

Rob & Ryan are Ignorant Goofballs Who Want to Do Better

Team owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney pledging to keep going in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2

Team owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2


 (aka: That Wales For Dummies Primer Episode)

We simply must start with “The Wide World of Wales,” which furnishes some 101-level Welsh history and culture. Welcome To Wrexham’s first season sprawled across 18 episodes of varying lengths and had a lot of expositional work to do for a presumed American audience with zero-to-modest knowledge of crucial subjects such as the many tiers of the English Football League and Wales’s existence, location, and history. To Rob and Ryan’s credit, they hurled themselves into that work with precisely the right attitude: they’re ignorant fools not just willing, but eager, to be mocked. 

And mocked, they were! 

Framed in the style of vintage sports show “The Wide World of Sports,” each segment of the series’ seventh episode focuses on a particular aspect of Wales-specific geographical and cultural literacy and prioritizes learning and gleefully roasting the goofy Americans. There’s even a special appearance by another American who is a financial supporter of a very mid-level English football team, author John Green

YA Novelist + English Football = True Love Always

Ryan Reynolds and John Green bond over football in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2

Ryan Reynolds and John Green in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2


Speaking of John Green! You may know him as the author of The Fault In Our Stars, or the very recently-adapted-for-the-screen Turtles All The Way Down, or as one-half of vlogbrothers, the YouTube channel he’s run with his brother, Hank Green, since 2007. If your cultural taste runs more to English football, though, Green may be more familiar to you as a longtime sponsor of AFC Wimbledon, a scrappy little team in League Two. (That’s the league to which Wrexham AFC won promotion at the end of Welcome To Wrexham’s second season, so the teams currently play each other.) Rob and Ryan are contributing to Wrexham AFC on a massive scale in terms of both funding and public profile enhancement, but they’re Gareth-come-latelies compared with Green. 

Like all right-thinking people, Green loves an underdog narrative, and his recent video about how AFC Wimbledon had to re-build their team from scratch, spending about 20 years in the wilderness of amateur English football on the way toward clawing back to the relative respectability of League Two highlights what makes that shared experience so special. Who’s tearing up? Certainly not me! 

Wrexham’s Women’s Team Deserves A Spinoff Series

The Wrexham Women’s Team holding up their banner in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2

The Wrexham Women’s Team in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2


Wrexham AFC – as in the Football Club as a whole – is home not only to their now-famed men’s side, but a host of other teams for children of many ages, plus a wheelchair football team. Season 2 featured a side arc focused on their top-level women’s team, who spent 2023 storming up the standings to close out their season with a perfect 12-0 record. Clinching promotion to Adran Premier wasn’t just a matter of pride for these extraordinary players, but a step toward being professional athletes. 

Now, the team’s top players are paid for their formidable skills. It was great to get to know some of these athletes, particularly Lili Jones, who, at the time, was still attending high school and working as a dishwasher at a local pub. Her arc included loving and frank memories about her late father, Gareth, who died by suicide. This neatly segued into another theme of the season: explorations of contemporary masculinity. (I know!)

Sport & Healthier Masculinities

Shaun Winter not doing so well in the mental health department in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 1

Shaun Winter in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 1


(aka A Chocolate & Peanut Butter Story)

Wrexham’s first season featured a number of male fans who were leaning perhaps a tad too heavily on their lifelong emotional investment in the team. I joked at the time that men will literally sit for lengthy, soul-baring interviews for a soon-to-be-hit sports documentary series rather than go to therapy. Guess what? At least one of them, single dad Shaun Winter, has gone to therapy! He’s doing way better, is even more involved with his kids, and has eliminated alcohol from his diet! This is a huge, unambiguously great result, and good on him. 

Paul Mullin, Ollie Palmer, Jordan Davies, and Tom O'Connor on the pitch at Wembley in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 1

Paul Mullin, Ollie Palmer, Jordan Davies, and Tom O'Connor in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 1

Oliver Upton/FX

Meanwhile, players Paul Mullin, Jordan Davies, and Ollie Palmer are highlighted in depth in their off-pitch roles as fathers, partners, and caregivers throughout the second season. Capping it all off is a late-season episode, “Family Business,” which goes all in on healthy masculinity. It spends an hour in deeply earnest, candid conversations about relationships between fathers and sons, mothers and sons, and a host of ways men can approach the many facets of their identities. More of this, please!

Up The Town!

Paul Mullin and his son playing on the floor in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2

Paul Mullin and his son in 'Welcome to Wrexham' Season 2


One of my favorite things about Wrexham is what good choices the showrunners have made when selecting fans (sorry, supporters) and Wrexham-specific history to highlight. Just a few of my favorite episodes revolve around Millie Tipping, an autistic super-fan featured in “The Quiet Zone.” Her instant connection with Paul Mullin and his autistic young son, Albi, is warmly reciprocated by the superstar player, and the club honors her (and presumably, many other fans’) sensory needs by establishing a quiet zone of seating at the Racecourse, the stadium where the Red Dragons play their home matches. 

I’m also very partial to episodes featuring DECLAN SWANS, a local garage band of middle-aged Wrexham fans who love to rock. As highlighted in the second season’s “Nott Yet”, their song “Mullin 10” is now an anthem for Wrexham supporters, sung in the stadium and on buses driving many miles to away matches. 

There’s even an appropriately somber episode honoring the Gresford mining disaster, an awful moment in the city of Wrexham’s history that reverberates among its residents to this day. Welcome to Wrexham isn’t doing anything new by featuring local history and heart-and-soul of the team fans — this is a longstanding tradition in sports documentaries — but they do it so well, and with such specificity, care, and sincerity that you’d have to be made of stone not to get hooked by it. 

Welcome to Wrexham Season 3 will debut with a double-episode premiere on Thursday, May 2, 2024, on FX, with episodes streaming the following day on Disney+ under the Hulu tile and Hulu as a standalone app, with one episode a week to follow through mid-June.  

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Sophie has been happily steeping in the potent brew of British TV since her parents let her stay up late on a Thursday watching the Jeremy Brett adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. She loves mysteries, espionage thrillers, documentaries, and costume dramas, and if you're not careful, she might talk your ear off about the Plantagenets. Sorry about that in advance! 

You can find Sophie on all the platforms as @sophiebiblio and keep an eye on her bylines from all over the internet via her handy portfolio.

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