“I can’t seriously have just signed for a club being taken over by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney” – Trickster Elliott Durrell on Hollywood, Macclesfield turmoil and ‘that wonder goal’

Elliott Durrell is one of thousands of footballers up and down the country who has battled hard for his place in the professional game.

He’s been in and out of professional and part time football twice, but is now at the age of 31 earning a full living playing the game he loves.

And after a career that has seen ups and downs and club’s financial struggles, he may have made a top move just at the right time.

Just months after Durrell’s move back to Wrexham was confirmed, rumours began to circle of a takeover that would shake the foundations of non-league football.

We all know what has taken place with the Hollywood A Listers and after a mad 2020 where it seems anything is possible, Durrell couldn’t scarcly believe the turn of events so soon after he re-signed at the Racecourse.

He said: “It has been a strange year that just keeps on getting stranger really.

“In this sort of year where everything is going on, I was just thinking that the club I have just joined can’t seriously being taken over by Ryan Reynolds and Rob Mc.

“It is crazy and has all been a bit mad really.

“The manager has spoken to them but we haven’t as players, but I am sure we will soon.

“The manager has done well to keep us away with it and focusing on our football, which is our job.”

Durrell in his early days at Hednesford Town – @EDuzza7 Twitter

Durrell has revealed all about the dressing room rumour mill that began circling in pre-season when the players were given the nod of the takeover.

But more of that later.

Durrell was late into professional football with Wrexham becoming his first club, so his career has almost now gone full circle.

The persistence and endeavor is evident from the 31-year-old from Shrewsbury, who was binned by his hometown club and Wolverhampton Wanderers for being too small.

But the quick footed Durrell has earned plaudits from across the non-league spectrum over the years for his technical ability, and he is sure he would have made it from a younger age had he come through in the modern era.

He explained: “I was released for being too small, but with the way things have changed now I would have probably got through the system now, 100 per cent.

“I was a technical player and a lot more of them get through now, whereas when I was coming through it was mainly whether you were big and strong.”

After his early rejection Durrell ploughed his way through non-league, making his name at West Midlands outfit Hednesford Town.

And it was in January 2014 where the little trickster really began to turn heads on a cold and wet afternoon in Yorkshire.

Hednesford had just conceded a last gasp leveler away to Bradford Park Avenue, when Durrell went back to the centre circle.

Keen to hold on to a point, he took off and wanted to get the ball was far away from his own goal as possible.

What transpired in that 30 seconds set off a chain of events that saw Durrell finally got his full time break.

He explained: “I had scored 25 goals up to that point in the season, so there was already a bit of talk.

“We conceded and I wanted to get the ball away from our goal so we kicked off and I beat the first man.

“Then things just started to open up so I kept going, beat a couple more and I was able to get my shot off on my wrong foot and it went in.

“It went mad with the celebrations and the video of it went viral, and that prompted Wrexham to then make their move.”

Durrell’s dream move to the professional game didn’t go as planned.

Manager Andy Morrell was sacked weeks into his time at the club and despite making 30 appearances, he would soon leave the club and join the former Wrexham boss at Tamworth.

Back into part time Durrell was forced to go and find a job again alongside his playing, but he wasn’t giving up on getting back into the full time game.

A spell at Chester followed before Durrell took part in a camp as part of the Jamie Vardy V9 academy, that helps players get back into the professional.

Durrell didn’t go on to follow the route of Vardy, very few would.

But he was picked up and within a year he was in the Football League with Maccelsfield Town.

“I was spotted by Macclesfield and I went there, and I really loved it there.

“But even from the start there were financial troubles, and they stayed all the way through.”

Macclesfield Town who are now defunct, were under the guidance of John Askey when players were seeing delays in the wages and no payments coming through.

But at the time the club were flying and well on course to defy the odds and win promotion back to the Football League.

So the players knuckled down and carried on playing.

Durrell added: “The wages stuff, it would be a week that was late and then two, and then sometimes you were in the middle of the month and not far off next month’s wages.

“At one point the manager said if you don’t want to play then I back you, because you back and support me.

“But as players we decided to keep on playing because of how well we were doing.”

Durrell describes their league success as like Leicester in the Premier League due to the low budget the club was operating with.

But despite the success on it, it was tough for players off it because as people know the riches in non-league are light years away from those of the top flight.

Durrell explained: “It was tough off the pitch because it isn’t as if we have been earning £50k to £60k a week in our careers, that wasn’t the case.

“We had bills and mortgages to worry about off the pitch, but we kept going.

“We got towards the end of the season and won two huge games and I think one was at Tranmere.

“Then I scored the goal in the one game to take us up.”

Askey left the club for Shrewsbury Town with Mark Yates taking over for the season in League Two, but after he left former Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell took the helm.

He kept the club up and Durrell has praised the job he has done, but insisted there were times when he would become frustrated.

But as the relegation battle was in full swing that season, the money troubles escalated.

“The problems were still there but Sol was good when he came in.

“He was a bit like why can’t these players do what the players I played with could do, and you get that with people who have been at the top level.

“Then the problems really started. The payments were less frequent and we were going a while without being paid.

“We stayed up and I was offered a new contract but I just knew things were going to get worse.

“I loved the fans up there. They thought well of me and knew I had a part in keeping the club up.

“As a manager Sol did keep us up and did a good job, so I’m sure he’ll get another job in the future.”

TELFORD COPYRIGHT MIKE SHERIDAN Dom McHaleholds off Wrexham’s Elliot Durrell during the pre-season friendly between AFC Telford United and Wrexham at the New Bucks Head on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. Picture credit: Mike Sheridan/Ultrapress MS202021-025

A spell with York City followed, before Durrell landed at Altrincham in the National League North last season.

He played in a handful of games and managed to bag the odd goal to help steer the club to the top tier of non-league and add another promotion to his CV.

Then in the summer and old team mate turned manager got back in touch with him and his move back to Wrexham was on.

“Dean knew what I was capable of, and I told him I had unfinished business at Wrexham.

“But he was really good, he said I had nothing to prove coming back here which was good.”

Weeks into pre-season and the big money rumour mill began, and Durrell has revealed how the players at the Racecourse were told.

And he also revealed how the players discovered the identity of the two people involved at the same time as the Wrexham faithful.

He explained: “The CEO pulled all the lads and said there are some very well known people interested in buying he club.

“He said it won’t just make local news but it will make worldwide news as well.

“So then we all started thinking who it could be. It could have literally been anyone.

“Some lads said Russell Crowe because he has links to Wrexham, but even then you’re thinking that is mad.

“Obviously then it all came out and it is going to be great for the club when the FA have sorted everything.

“We were playing Telford in a friendly and we lost 1-0.

“Anway the news broke mid game and we came in at half time and were told.

“I think the lads heads were spinning in that second half thinking about it all!”

Durell is now gunning for a third promotion in as many years, insisting that is the priority this season as the Hollywood stream train pulls out of the station.

“I’ve always been successful at clubs I’ve been at and we’re 100 per cent looking at promotion.

“I know we are only eight, nine, ten games in but we want to keep up our good form and keep going.”

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