Footballer Ollie Palmer has revealed in Disney+ documentary Welcome To Wrexham that his ex-royal protection officer father came out as gay after leaving his mother.
The 31-year-old Wrexham striker explained how his parents separated when he was a child, and his father Andy told the family months later that he was homosexual.
Now, Palmer has spoken about his childhood and family life along with his mother Sue and Andy in a new episode of the programme which is now in its second series.
Footballer Ollie Palmer with his father Andy in Disney+ documentary Welcome To Wrexham
King Charles III (left) speaks to his former protection officer Andy Palmer (second right) while visiting Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground with Queen Camilla on December 9 last year
Charles and Andy Palmer shake hands during the King’s visit to Wrexham in December 2022
His mother Sue told how she was ‘very happily married’ to Andy, adding that when they unexpectedly split she thought he was leaving her for another woman.
Sue said: ‘I thought we had a great marriage. We had three wonderful children and I was very confident about the future. But then Andy left. I was devastated. It blew my world apart.’
Andy added: ‘It took a long time. It wasn’t an overnight decision. It was months and months of deciding what route do I take.’
He continued: ‘It was a very difficult time for me personally. How do I go about telling my three children, who I love to bits, that daddy isn’t going to be around anymore?’
Palmer described it as a ‘really f***ing hard day’ when his father moved out, adding that he remembered ‘mum and dad arguing’.
He continued: ‘That’s what I really remember. Just sitting in the study and hearing them all arguing in the dining room. And then we were all crying.’
But Palmer revealed that after introducing Andy and Andy’s boyfriend to McElhenney, he found out that the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor’s parents also split up when he was a child – and his mother went onto marry another woman.
McElhenney said: ‘I’m in the same position as Ollie. My parents got divorced when I was eight or nine.
‘And as adults we can both look back on our parents and recognise how much courage that it took for them to do exactly what they did.’
Wrexham’s Ollie Palmer after a match against Notts County at Meadow Lane on October 28
On December 9 last year, Charles and Andy were reunited during a royal visit to Wrexham which saw the King and Queen meet Reynolds, McElhenney and players to learn about the redevelopment of the club.
Speaking in January about the meeting, Palmer told The Times: ‘My dad worked as a protection officer for the Royal Family for 25 years.
‘He spent ten years as Prince Charles’s – as he was then known – personal protection officer. He retired a few years ago but he’s still in touch with Buckingham Palace, goes to functions at Balmoral and stuff, so he managed to blag an invite.
‘I met the King on the pitch with the players. We spoke about how well we’re doing in the league, me and Mulls [Paul Mullin] as a [strike] partnership. Then I made him aware that I was Andy Palmer’s son. He said my dad had shared many a story about me on car journeys over the years.
‘Then we went up to a room inside the stadium and it was great to see King Charles’s reaction to seeing my dad. I couldn’t get a word in edgeways.’
Palmer added that his father used to simply say to people that he worked ‘for the Metropolitan Police‘ and never really spoke about what he actually did.
Wrexham broke their transfer record in January last year to sign Palmer from AFC Wimbledon for £300,000.
Palmer with Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds after the team beat Notts County in April
Ollie Palmer moved up into the Football League with Mansfield Town in August 2013
That record had stood since 1978 when Wrexham bought Joey Jones from Liverpool for £210,000.
Palmer began his career in non-league football in 2010, playing for Woking, St Albans City, Boreham Wood and Havant and Waterlooville.
The 6ft 5in player moved up into the Football League with Mansfield Town in 2013, and also played for Grimsby Town, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, Lincoln City and Crawley Town before joining Wimbledon in August 2020.
Palmer then moved to Wrexham in January 2022 on a three-and-a-half year deal, and has since scored 37 goals in more than 90 games.