|Wrexham qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup due to winning the Welsh Cup, which was an entrance point to European qualification for all Welsh sides prior to the inception of the Welsh Football League, at which point the Football Association of Wales (FAW) excluded any Welsh club playing in the English league pyramid from contesting the Welsh Cup, of which Wrexham football Club still historically retains the most wins.
Wrexham were eligible to qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup by winning the Welsh Cup, and played their inaugural match in Europe against Swiss side FC Zurich in Switzerland on 13 September 1972, the game finishing 1–1. In the return leg Wrexham won 2–1, advancing to the second round with a 3–2 win on aggregate. The second round drew Wrexham against Yugoslav side Hajduk Split. Over the course of two games the score finished 3–3 on aggregate with Wrexham matching our more illustrious opponents, but we were knocked out of the competition due to the away goals rule. A crowd of 19,013 saw Wrexham beat Hajduk Split 3 v 1 at The Racecourse with goals by Brian Tinnion (2) and Dave Smallman. Unfortunately, the Yugoslavian team scored an away goal, which was all important as Hajduk won the second leg 2-0, 3-3 on aggregate, but Hajduk went through on away goals.
1975–76 saw John Neal's team again shock the football world by reaching the quarter finals of the European cup-winners cup after another sparkling cup run and defeats of higher regarded opponents. In the first round Wrexham beat Swedish team Djurgården 3–2 on aggregate. We then knocked out Polish side Stal Rzeszow 3–1 on aggregate. Wrexham then played Belgian giants and champions Anderlecht in the quarter finals. Following a narrow away defeat in Belgium, Wrexham led in the home leg through a 60th minute Stuart Lee goal before a 76th minute equaliser from the great Rob Rensenbrink and narrowly lost 2–1 on aggregate to the eventual winners of the competition, who went on to beat West ham 4-2 in the Final.
The 1978-79 campaign saw Wrexham eliminated at the first round stage by HNK Rijeka of Croatia on an aggregate score of 3-2, although we came close to achieving a turn around on a 3-0 away defeat in the first leg with a 2-0 home win in the second leg in front of a passionate 10,469 crowd.FC Magdeburg of Germany proved to be too strong for Wrexham the following season. Following a 3-2 home victory, we led twice in the away leg, only to lose the tie in extra time.
European Video Years...
Wrexham AFC's record in Europe
|13/09/1972||1R||FC Zürich||1-1 (Agg 3-2)||Wrexham||6,500||Cup Winners Cup 1972/73||D|
|27/09/1972||1R||Wrexham||2-1||FC Zürich||18,189||Cup Winners Cup 1972/73||W|
|25/10/1972||2R||Wrexham||3-1||Hajduk Split||19,013||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||W|
|08/11/1972||2R||Hajduk Split||2-0 (Agg 3-3 lost on away goals)||Wrexham||25,000||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||L|
|17/09/1975||1R||Wrexham||2-1||Djurgården||9,009||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||W|
|01/10/1975||1R||Djurgården||1-1 (Agg 3-2)||Wrexham||1,769||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||D|
|22/10/1975||2R||Wrexham||2-0||Stal Rzeszów||9,613||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||W|
|05/11/1975||2R||Stal Rzeszów||1-1 (Agg 3-1)||Wrexham||20,000||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||D|
|03/03/1976||QF||Anderlecht||1-0||Wrexham||35,000||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||L|
|17/03/1976||QF||Wrexham||1-1 (Agg 1-2)||Anderlecht||19,648||Cup Winners Cup 1975/76||D|
|13/09/1978||1R||HNK Rijeka||3-0||Wrexham||12,009||Cup Winners Cup 1978/79||L|
|27/09/1978||1R||Wrexham||2-0 (Agg 2-3)||HNK Rijeka||10,469||Cup Winners Cup 1978/79||W|
|19/09/1979||1R||Wrexham||3-2||FC Magdeburg||9,802||Cup Winners Cup 1979/80||W|
|03/10/1979||1R||FC Magdeburg||5-2 (a.p.) (Agg 5-7)||Wrexham||22,000||Cup Winners Cup 1979/80||L|
|19/09/1984||1R||Wrexham||1-0||FC Porto||4,935||Cup Winners Cup 1984/85||W|
|03/10/1984||1R||FC Porto||4-3 (Agg 4-4 won on away goals)||Wrexham||25,000||Cup Winners Cup 1984/85||L|
|24/10/1984||2R||Roma||2-0||Wrexham||36,793||Cup Winners Cup 1984/85||L|
|07/11/1984||2R||Wrexham||0-1 (Agg 0-3)||Roma||14,007||Cup Winners Cup 1984/85||L|
|17/09/1986||1R||Zurrieq FC||0-3||Wrexham||4,000||Cup Winners Cup 1986/87||W|
|01/10/1986||1R||Wrexham||4-0 (Agg 7-0)||Zurrieq FC||2,793||Cup Winners Cup 1986/87||W|
|22/10/1986||2R||Zaragoza||0-0||Wrexham||25,000||Cup Winners Cup 1986/87||D|
|05/11/1986||2R||Wrexham||2-2 (Agg 2-2 lost on away goals)||Zaragoza||14,515||Cup Winners Cup 1986/87||D|
|19/09/1990||1R||Wrexham||0-0||Lyngby BK||3,417||Cup Winners Cup 1990/91||D|
|03/10/1990||1R||Lyngby BK||0-1 (Agg 1-0)||Wrexham||1,548||Cup Winners Cup 1990/91||W|
|23/10/1990||2R||Man. United||3-0||Wrexham||29,405||Cup Winners Cup 1990/91||L|
|07/11/1990||2R||Wrexham||0-2 (Agg 0-5)||Man. United||13,327||Cup Winners Cup 1990/91||L|
|10/08/1995||QR||Wrexham||0-0||FC Petrolul Ploiesti||4,308||Cup Winners Cup 1995/96||D|
|24/08/1995||QR||FC Petrolul Ploiesti||1-0 (Agg 0-1)||Wrexham||
|Cup Winners Cup 1995/96||L|