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Ian wright

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Ian Edward Wright, MBE (born 3 November 1963) is an English former professional footballer, and television and radio personality. He is currently a pundit for BBC Sport and ITV Sport.

Wright enjoyed success with London clubs Crystal Palace and Arsenal as a forward, spending six years with the former and seven years with the latter. With Arsenal he lifted the Premier League title, both the major domestic cup competitions, and the European Cup Winners Cup.[4] Known for his speed, agility, finishing and aggression,[5] he played 581 league games, scoring 287 goals for seven clubs in Scotland and England, while also earning 33 caps for the English national team, and scoring 9 international goals.[4]

Wright also played in the Premier League for West Ham United, the Scottish Premier League for Celtic and the Football League for Burnley and Nottingham Forest. As of 2021[update], he is Arsenal's second-highest scorer of all time and Crystal Palace's third-highest.[6][7]

After he finally retired from the game he has been active in the media, usually in football-related TV and radio shows. Two of his sons, Bradley and Shaun Wright-Phillips, are both professional footballers.[4]

Wright is the third son of Jamaican parents. His father was absent from a young age, and he was brought up by his mother, Nesta, and an abusive stepfather.[8][9]

Wright came to professional football relatively late. Despite having had trials at Southend United and Brighton & Hove Albion during his teens,[4] he was unable to attract sufficient interest to win a professional contract offer. Reverting to playing for amateur and non-league teams, he was left disillusioned about his chances of a career as a professional footballer.[4]

After a spell of poverty during which his wife was expecting their first child, Wright spent two weeks in Chelmsford Prison for failing to pay fines for driving without tax or insurance. He recalls that after being locked in the cell, he burst into tears and vowed to God to do everything in his power to make it as a footballer.[10][11]

Wright described his teacher Sydney Pigden as "the first positive male figure that I had in my life".[12]

From being a teenager, until the age of 21, Wright played for Bermondsey-based amateur Sunday league club Ten-em-Bee (a club his sons Brett and Shaun also later played for).[13] In 1985 Wright was signed by semi-professional Greenwich Borough and got paid £30 a week.[citation needed] After just six or seven matches, he was spotted by a Crystal Palace scout after a tip-off from Dulwich Hamlet manager Billy Smith and was invited for a trial at Selhurst Park.[14] Having impressed then-manager Steve Coppell,[4] he signed a professional contract for Crystal Palace in August 1985, just three months short of his 22nd birthday.[15]

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