What we learned from Welcome to Wrexham episodes 7 and 8
IF YOU’RE like me, then you’ll be patiently waiting for every Thursday to arrive.
Indeed, the gripping series “Welcome to Wrexham” releases two episodes at a time on this day every week via Disney Plus.
The series mainly follows the takeover of Wrexham AFC by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds – but it also shines a light on the community and the people who make it up.
On top of that, it gives a rare insight into the lives of Wrexham AFC players and coaches.
Here are five things I learned from the latest episodes of the series (episodes seven and eight)…
1. The history of Wales – and how it all led to its ‘most important moment’
PIC: Wrexham AFC owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
Episode seven is described as “very special” by Rob as it focuses solely on all things Welsh.
And it’s quite educational too. In fact, even if you really don’t like football, you’ll find this episode useful to learn more about Wales and its past troubles.
John Green takes us on a journey through the roots of Wales, from Llewelyn the Last and Owain Glyndwr to the Rebecca Riots, the significance of St David’s Day and even the powerful song ‘Yma O Hyd’ which is now synonymous of the national football team.
This segment ends with the “most important moment in the history of Wales”, when Rob and Ryan took over at the racecourse!
2. Episode seven has the potential to be a huge boost for the Welsh language
PIC: Maxine Hughes is no stranger to Rob and Ryan!
Aside from the usual jokes you’d expect from Rob and Ryan, episode seven really delivers an important message.
It highlights the fact that the Welsh language is indeed on the rise.
Joined by Maxine Hughes – who had previously shot to fame through a commercial alongside the duo – Rob and Ryan head into the kitchen to chat about lamb quail and try their hand at making their own Welsh cakes, or ‘Picau ar y Maen’.
In doing so, Maxine puts her Welsh language skills to the test in a segment called “Welsh or Else”.
Here are some of the words used by the pair; Fforc (Fork), Cymysgu (Mix), Cylch (Circle), Ofnadwy (terrible), Twmffat (idiot).
It’s unclear what exposure at this level could do for the Welsh language, but one thing is for sure, it will surely grab people’s attention.
3. Charlotte Church is a fan!
PIC: Welsh singer Charlotte Church. Photo by Press Association.
Yes, that’s right, one of Wales’ finest singers even makes a special appearance in episode seven!
The 36-year-old soprano appears at the end of the episode when Rob and Ryan don their fancy blue suits for the “Wales Late Night” segment.
Church performs two beautiful renditions, first a Wrexham favorite – ‘Men of Harlech’ – then the Welsh national anthem; ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’.
She said to Rob and Ryan: “I would like to thank you both on behalf of everyone in Wales.”
Rob replies: “The warmth and embrace we felt from everyone in Wales, not just Wrexham, was overwhelming.”
4. Aaron Hayden cuts his own hair!
PIC: Wrexham defender Aaron Hayden. Photo by Gemma Thomas.
Premier League footballers may be used to bringing in their own barbers for that all-important cut, but Wrexham is a far cry from the glitz and glamor of this world, it seems.
In episode eight, defender Aaron Hayden can be seen cutting his hair in a makeshift mirror he made before the game, describing it as “therapeutic”.
In an open and honest interview in his own home, Hayden also talks about “struggling” with his confidence and feeling like he’s “let people down.”
It’s a side of the game you don’t see often, but it’s a side that’s portrayed so well through Welcome To Wrexham.
5. Rob and Ryan are feeling the daytime blues just like the rest of us!
PICTURE: Rob and Ryan at the Maidenhead game, shown in episode eight. Photo by PA.
From pre-game “nerves” to post-game “grief”, the reality of football certainly touches Rob and Ryan in episode eight.
In it, Rob and Ryan make their 12 and 6 hour flights to London respectively ahead of the trip to Maidenhead United – which was the first Wrexham game the pair have ever attended.
It also shows Wrexham fans making the four-hour journey south by coach.
But, as we find out, it doesn’t end well for the Reds as – despite coming back to 2-2 after being down 2-0 at the start, a 3-2 loss eventually ensues.
Rob and Ryan live the real day away as they are booed by Maidenhead fans as they walk to York Road Stadium.
The episode ends with the long journey home after a defeat – something all of us football fans have had to endure over the years!
But, as Rob says; “You can’t taste sweet until you taste sour, I guess.”