A novel charting the rollercoaster rise of Wrexham AFC could be set for its own Hollywood ending.
It’s Always Sunny in Wrexham appeals to the club’s growing global fanbase and is a captivating, at times crazy, tale of a fanatical fan who wakes from a 10-year coma to find the Red Dragons are now under the stewardship of two A-list superstars.
Featuring a host of well-known local characters, former players, and world-famous actors – Hugh Jackman is now chairman of arch-rivals FC Romans of Chester – the book was written by Andrew Foley Jones and is already capturing the imagination of readers the world over, in the same way the football team has since the arrival of owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
Andrew, who hails from Prestatyn, said interest is building in the story on both sides of the Atlantic ahead of his beloved Wrexham’s return to the Football League.
“A lot of ideas are being discussed which are very exciting and I’m in talks about turning this into a screenplay, so it could also end up with a Hollywood twist!” said the dad-of-two.
“It’s a blend of fact and fiction which has gone down a storm in the UK, the US, and other parts of the world.
“I hope is resonates with our die-hard supporters as there were plenty of references to past players, matches and managers; combining that with an off-the-wall narrative that loosely follows the reality of the past three years – which itself is hard to believe! – it has made for a fun, at times emotional and serious, novel that I’m very proud of.”
Written in the first person, it’s the ultimate underdog story with some very real and true facts thrown in. The time Andrew had to persuade a Mexican on a plane to Qatar that he wasn’t striker Paul Mullin, or when he played in a Mickey Thomas testimonial due to mistaken identity.
The anecdotes come thick and fast, there are twists and turns and as many highs and lows as the club itself has endured, but most importantly of all, it pulls at the heartstrings while tickling the funny bone to the point of fracture.
“I’ve supported Wrexham AFC for almost 45 years, so while my desire to write it was piqued by the takeover and long days spent in lockdown during the pandemic, it’s always been there,” said Andrew, a director of Mackenzie Jones Solicitors, who represented the previously fan-owned club for a number of years pre-takeover and was on the legal team when the acquisition took place in 2021.
“The concept of a man who woke up in 2030 from a coma without any memory of his life beforehand was based on an idea I was previously writing about, and it became the engine for a flurry of weird and wonderful ideas which I managed to weave into something tangible.
“This isn’t a textbook about life, or football or even Wrexham AFC. There are plenty of publications out there which tell such stories much better than I ever could. This is my personal version, reflection, anecdote, memory, history, and ultimately a prediction of the future.
He added: “The rest is fiction, and there’s some surreal stuff in there, stuff to do with politics, popular culture, how society might change over the coming years, alien invasions, Joe Wicks becoming Prime Minister, assassinations, world wars, but then it’s set in the future so given the unreal, impossible series of events which has taken place since Ryan and Rob arrived at the Racecourse it might not be too far away from reality.”
There’s also a nod towards Artificial Intelligence and how it might shape the future, and interestingly, when Andrew entered a synopsis of the book into an AI app, it threw this out as its summary of the novel:
‘Enter a mind-bending time capsule to the year 2030: a football club’s quest for unlikely glory entwines with a world transforming beyond belief. Explore a captivating and hilarious journey that will spark your curiosity and challenge your imagination. Ultimately, without any spoilers, the rise over the rest of the decade of Wrexham through the league pyramid to the brink of the premier league is a metaphor that anything can happen, that things can get better and that sometimes, fact is weirder than fiction, the underdog can have its day.’
“I hope people like it because it’s positive, it’s good news and what has happened to the football club I have been so devoted to over the decades is amazing, it’s hard to believe after the many lows of this century, from nearly going bust to selling the ground and more,” said Andrew.
“The only way is up, for the fans, the team and given the response I’ve had so far, It’s Always Sunny in Wrexham.”
The book is available as on Amazon Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon.