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The truth about the night ‘Danny DeVito’ visited The Turf pub in Wrexham

29 Oct 2021 4 minute read
‘Danny DeVito’ arriving at The Turf pub and the actual Hollywood legend (Credit: Creative Commons)

David Owens

Sometimes it’s difficult to separate truth from fiction.

On the day when Wrexham’s new superstar owners, Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds, held a press conference in the stands at the Racecourse Ground, most people – especially those of us in Wales – rightly believed anything was possible.

The theory was neatly put to the test when several hours later a video emerged on Twitter of what on first appearance looked like your actual Hollywood royalty Danny DeVito walking into The Turf pub, situated adjacent to the stadium.

Now this is not so unbelievable as it may sound, given the diminutive star appears in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia alongside Wrexham co-owner McElhenney.

Social media certainly thought so as the story quickly went viral, with Twitter and Facebook inundated with people claiming that it was indeed the legendary Hollywood actor walking into the famed Wrexham boozer.

However, not everybody was so convinced.

Wrexham fanzine Fearless in Devotion clearly thought it was too good to be true.

And fair enough when you examined the evidence.

Those doubts were proved correct when it was confirmed by the actor’s agent that Mr DeVito was actually filming for the forthcoming Disney Haunted Mansion movie in Atlanta, just a tad more than 4,000 miles away from The Turf pub.

Much of the belief that it was indeed the 75-year-old star of Taxi, Twins and Batman Returns, followed a video showing Ryan Reynolds fuelling speculation by replying ‘I hope so, he flew up here’ in answer to a question from a fan asking if DeVito was in The Turf.

In fact, the Canadian star with the wicked sense of humour wasn’t exactly lying. The person in the pub was a Danny DeVito impersonator, who had made the trip to the north of Wales to appear in scenes to promote the Welcome To Wrexham fly-on-the-wall docuseries to be screened on Disney+ in the UK.

In a message to Nation.Cymru, pub landlord Wayne Jones later reinforced what most of us already knew. “I can confirm it was a double and not the real Danny,” he told us.

Genuinely ecstatic

It was quite some night for Wayne and The Turf – the historic hostelry where Wrexham AFC were founded in 1864.

Earlier he and his pub had been namechecked by Rob McElhenney in front of the assembled press pack, while later that evening the watering hole was the venue for filming with Rob and Ryan. And the DeVito doppelganger.

Wayne posted a couple of pics from the pub on his Twitter and quite understandably looks genuinely ecstatic to be in the company of a couple of Hollywood stars and the documentary cameras – especially this one of him with a clapperboard.

After witnessing their football club lose a hard fought game away at Maidenhead United on Tuesday evening, tomorrow co-chairmen Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds will see their first home game when Wrexham take on Torquay United in front of a raucous Racecourse Ground.

It’s sure to be some occasion – and another chapter in the story that frankly is the gift that keeps on giving.

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