Limerick native Anthony Forde has thanked Wrexham's Ryan Reynolds for his extremely kind gesture towards his wife, Laura, who is suffering from an inoperable brain tumour.
Last year, the Forde family's life was turned upside down when Laura Forde received her diagnosis. Anthony had been a mainstay in Wrexham's team as they pushed for promotion into League 2 from the National League. However, Forde missed two months during last year's title charge because of his wife's sudden illness after she had a baby.
When the news reached Wrexham's manager, Phil Parkinson, informed owners Reynolds and Rob McElhenney of the news. Forde was given a leave of absence but returned in April to help them win their first league title in 45 years, leading to their promotion to EFL League Two after a 15-year absence.
Speaking in the Disney series "Welcome to Wrexham" documentary, Forde explained that Reynolds paid for Laura to get a second opinion on her diagnosis. This was something that Forde believed the Holywood actor did not to do.
"It just didn't feel like it was real. The gaffer told the owners about the news, and they reached out. Ryan helped get a second opinion. It's something that he doesn't have to do; he doesn't have to do that," said Forde."
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Forde also explained why he had to step away from the game for a short time following the awful news surrounding his wife.
“How could I go out and perform when I have something so serious in the back of my head? It would have been unfair to myself and the team. The support we have had from the club has been amazing," he added.
During the first MRI scan, Laura's first opinion revealed that the brain tumour was not curable, inoperable, and that she should expect a short life expectancy. However, after Reynolds' gesture, the family revealed that the second opinion has been more positive, with Laura posting on social media that there is no growth to the tumour.
Last week, Forde thanked Wrexham fans, friends, and everyone else for their support during the challenging time and mentioned that it did not go unnoticed by himself and Laura.
"There has been some great support for the family," added the 30-year-old. "It has been really nice. Everyone at the club has been amazing, from the people that work here to the fans. We have had some lovely messages and support, and we really appreciate everything."