Limerick footballer praises Ryan Reynolds for life-changing help to wife

Anthony Forde and his wife Laura were given life-changing help from Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds. Photo: Instagram.

A LIMERICK footballer has hailed actor and football club owner Ryan Reynolds as a “genuinely good person” after his gesture to the player’s wife.

Anthony Forde is a native of Limerick but is currently playing league two football in the UK with Wrexham FC, of which the Hollywood star is a part owner.

Speaking to the Talking Transitions podcast, Mr Forde said that his wife, Laura, had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour just weeks after the birth of the couple’s son, Paddy.

Ms Forde’s doctors told the couple that her tumour was malignant and that she had just months left to live.

“Laura rang me when we got to the hotel and said it is a brain tumour and I’ve got to see the neurosurgeon,” the Limerick footballer told the podcast.

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“We were trying to be as positive as we could until we spoke to the neurosurgeon, but then we got the worst news possible.”

The family flew home to Ireland so members of their extended families could meet their new son, who “hadn’t met Paddy at this point and Laura didn’t know if it would be her last time going home. It was just a crazy time,” Mr Forde explained on the podcast.

Actor and co-owner of Wrexham FC Ryan Reynolds.

A few days later however, actor Ryan Reynolds – who co-owns Wrexham alongside fellow actor Rob McElhenny – heard of the news of Ms Forde’s diagnosis.

The Deadpool actor intervened and helped the couple to get a second opinion from a different neurosurgeon, after which follow up tests revealed that Ms Forde’s tumour was benign and her original diagnosis was incorrect.

The Limerick soccer player expressed his heartfelt thanks to the club owners, saying that “I just don’t think I’d have got that help anywhere else – they were amazing.”

“They’re genuinely good people who have a good heart and me and my family and friends will always be so grateful.”

Before going on to play for Wrexham in league two of the English Football League (EFL), the Ballingarry man represented Ireland at Under-19 and Under-21 levels.

In 2022, he signed a two-year deal with Wrexham, so far appearing in 45 games for the Red Dragons and netting four goals.