North Wales adopted football of the spherical variety much earlier than their southern counterparts. The club was formed in September 1872, when a meeting at the Turf Hotel of members from the local cricket club was held ‘for the purpose of starting a football club for the ensuing season.’ Records of the early days of Wrexham are very sketchy, as are details of the venues, which served as home grounds. It’s generally accepted that the club’s first regular home was within Acton Park. It was little more than a pitch within a vast open area. However, the club used the site of the present Racecourse for their first games in 1873, before moving across town to Acton Park and then back to where Wrexham are now. In those days the pitch at the Racecourse, which was also used for trotting races, was turned 90 degrees to the current layout.
In 1876, with interest in football growing, Wrexham members were instrumental in forming the Cambrian Football Association, which within weeks had changed its name to the Football Association of Wales. In that same year, Wales played their first international, a match against Scotland at the Racecourse. A year later a new club competition was inaugurated, with Wrexham being the first ever winner of the Welsh Cup. Wrexham had used the Racecourse Ground on a few occasions before moving here permanently in 1905.
Like Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion Wrexham have dazzled their faithful with almost every possible colour combination. In the nineteenth century their inaugural black and red horizontal stripes became dark and light blue halves, alternating blue with white sleeves and stripes of the same colour. By the turn of the century Wrexham started toying with green shirts. The first red and white combination was worn just after the First World War. Not for long however because blue returned with a broad white hoop across the chest and the sleeves. All-blue arrived by the Thirties and remained until after the Second World War. This time the red shirts reappeared to stay until today.
Peculiarly, it wasn’t the ‘red’ that gave rise to the previous nickname ‘The Robins’. It came from a club secretary in the first half of the 20th century, whose name was Ted Robinson, also manager at the time, fielding the ‘Robin’s Team’. Wrexham took on the “Red Dragons” tag at the start of the 2001/2002 campaign. Their initial badge, not on shirts until the 1960’s, was the Wrexham borough’s coat of arms which were granted in 1857. One crozier in the shield represents Wrexham Abbott which formerly belonged to Valle Crucis Abbey. The other crozier, like a shepherd’s crook, signifies the grazing land around Wrexham and alludes to the wool sales, which were one of the principal industries of the area. The shield also includes two lions from the arms of Wales. In the crest, the Welsh national emblem of the dragon is charged with the astronomical symbol for Mars.
The present club badge originates from a competition in 1973 coinciding with Wrexham’s celebration of the hundredth anniversary of their first ever match. From the hundreds of entries submitted the club eventually chose the design that best reflects Wrexham’s “raison d’être”. The green chief of the shield, green being one of the colours of the Welsh flag, shows the Prince of Wales’ symbols of ostrich feathers together with the inscription “Ich Dien”, meaning “I serve”. This inscription may have been derived from the old Welsh “Eich Dyn”, which means “Your man” and believed to be the original motto of the Prince’s 14th century family arms. The colour green stands for forestry and the rural areas that surround Wrexham. The creatures holding a football are of course our Welsh dragons, also acting as supporters in today’s arms of Wrexham. Peculiarly enough the banner shows the year of formation as believed to be accurate at the time of the badge’s creation.