Wrexham owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in for a shock when they see League Two club’s away end
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Wrexham owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in for a shock when they see League Two club’s away end

Feb 23, 2024

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have been loving every minute of Wrexham’s charge towards League Two promotion.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia star McElhenney has enjoyed the new stadiums the Welsh club have been too this season, but they might be in for a rude awakening for their next away trip.

Wrexham owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds will need to bring their ponchos

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Wrexham owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds will need to bring their ponchosCredit: Getty
There's another away end in the EFL that fans have been stunned by

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There’s another away end in the EFL that fans have been stunned byCredit: Getty
And gives Luton's a run for its money

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And gives Luton’s a run for its moneyCredit: Getty

He loved MK Dons’ ground, labelling it beautiful… which is not a word anyone has used to describe Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium.

That’s who Wrexham have next, a trip to the Medway towns in Kent in a third against eighth battle.

Gillingham‘s Priestfield Stadium has sat slap bang in the middle of the town’s streets since the club’s formation in 1893.

The club even ground shared with Brighton and Hove Albion for two seasons in the 1990s, and the Gills soon began redeveloping Priestfield to have four all-seater stands later that decade.

However one of those stands was temporary and remains temporary today – their infamous away end.

The terracing that once resided behind one of the goals was removed in 2003 for a temporary stand and was soon named after the late football commentator and Gills fan Brian Moore.

This was despite plans to build a £1.5million 3,200-seater covered away end, as funding issues meant a temporary stand had to be erected instead.

Today, Gills’ away end has a capacity of 3,400, which is considerably bigger than most away stands in League Two and was handy when the Kent club played teams with sizeable followings like Sheffield Wednesday and Sunderland in League One.

Gills' away end has been temporary for 20 years

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Gills’ away end has been temporary for 20 yearsCredit: Getty
And sits right in the middle of street of terrace houses

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And sits right in the middle of street of terrace housesCredit: Getty

However plenty of visiting fans haven’t had the best experience sitting in the ‘scaffold stand’, particularly if it starts to rain.

With no roof or cover over it, Gills away end consists of a large piece of scaffolding, with a handful of stairways up to the faded blue seats from the concourse below built into the structure.

When sat in it, fans can look down through the gaps and see those walking up the stairs and those on the concourse below them.

What’s more, supporters standing at the top or on the edges of the stand can see into neighbouring gardens, with terrace houses lining the parameters of it.

Fans at the top of the stand have a great view of the Kent town

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Fans at the top of the stand have a great view of the Kent townCredit: Getty

It’s safe to say the stand isn’t suitable for people with a fear of heights.

Before their relegation to the fourth tier in the 2021/22 season, the Gills were becoming League One stalwarts and had even been in the Championship in the early 2000s.

But despite recently being financially boosted by a takeover this campaign, Gills are a way off worrying about having to adapt their ground to suit the Premier League like Luton had to do this season to get ready for the top flight.

There had been reports of new owner Brad Galinson renovating the Brian Moore stand last summer, though, with the American recognising that a roof would certainly improve the experience of those visiting Priestfield.

“We need to do some work on that, we had to do some work to get it ready for the Leicester [FA Cup] game, which we did. It meant taking some of the bits from the top half down to the bottom half,” he told Kent Online.

“We probably need a plan for it come the summer, in an ideal world we would take it down and build something with a roof on it.”

But for now, Wrexham’s Hollywood owners and the away fans turning up for their game at Priestfield will certainly be in for a shock in their clash on Saturday at 3pm.


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