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Ryan Reynolds’ gesture to dying man gives us a timely reminder

US actor and Wrexham owner Ryan Reynolds waves to fans ahead of the English FA Cup fourth round football match

Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/25/23

The Hollywood star has given us all a valuable lesson in life and in helping those facing death.
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Actor Ryan Reynolds has been all over the news recently as the Welsh soccer team he owns — along with fellow actor Rob McElhenney — has been promoted from the National League to the English League Two (that’s a huge thing in British football!).

When Wrexham FC won their last game, projecting the club into the higher division, soccer fans, movie fans, and locals of the Welsh city where the club was founded 158 years ago were ecstatic. Suddenly this small club was given a chance to show its skills on a larger scale.

Yet, what is noticeable in this almost fairytale-like scenario is that when Reynolds and McElhenney bought the team in 2021, it seemed like just a fun project for the Hollywood actors. However, the pair has crossed the pond on numerous occasions — sometimes with a Hollywood pal in tow — to lend their support to the players and their fans.

And Reynolds seems to be taking his role as club owner to heart. According to the mom of nine-year-old Caleb Webb, a little boy with Crohn’s disease who met with the Deadpool actor before the key match on Saturday, Reynolds makes a big effort with his team’s more vulnerable fans, as shared in the Mirror:

“I would say nine times out of ten he will always come over to the disabled section where the kids are. He will come and say hello and have a chat with them. Most of the kids don’t understand he is a famous Hollywood actor. They just see him as a friend. The first time he came over to Caleb he said ‘hello little man’ and bent down and chatted to him. He (Ryan) really does care.”

Webb’s mom added: “He puts everyone before himself. He has got a heart of gold and he really cares for the kids. Caleb just thinks him and Ryan are best mates now. He was the mascot in March and the club treated him like royalty.”

Reynolds also offered his time and support to a fan of both the club and the actor who has terminal appendix cancer. According to the BBC, Reynolds made arrangements for Jay Frear and his family to be brought up to North Wales to see the match and spend some time with the actor.

The actor and dad of four gave Frear a glove from his second Deadpool movie, and told him he could come along to the movie set of the third movie in the series.

While Frear and his family were delighted to have spent time with the actor, saying, “We will remember it forever,” the meeting also impacted Reynolds significantly, with him sharing:

“It was amazing to meet Jay. I wonder if I’d have the same unwavering joy if our roles were reversed. He is an exceptional person and his family is wonderful. I got a little choked up talking to him and feeling how much his kids and wife are going to miss him.”

The touching moment, however, provides us all with the reminder of the vital role we can all play in supporting those nearing the end of their lives. A small gesture can have a huge impact and let the person who is transitioning into the next life know they are cared for, and that the loved ones they’re leaving behind will be cared for, too.

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