Birthday: November 3, 1963
Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Also Known As: Ian Edward Wright
Born Country: England
Born in: Woolwich, London, England
Famous as: Footballer
Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Debbie Martin, Nancy Hallam
father: Herbert Maclean
mother: Nesta Wright
children: Bradley Wright-Phillips, Brett Wright, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stacey Wright
City: London, England
education: Turnham Academy
awards: Member of the Order of the British Empire
Who is Ian Wright?
Ian Wright is an English former professional footballer and radio/TV personality, who currently works as a commentator for ‘BBC Sport’ and ‘ITV Sport.’ Ian was born in Woolwich, London, England, to Jamaican immigrant parents and was raised by his mother, Nesta, and an abusive stepfather. He went through a bad childhood. According to him, he had been “very angry” for most of his childhood. He was an avid footballer but was unable to make his place in any football club. He once ended up getting imprisoned due to his inability to pay the fine for driving without tax or insurance. While in prison, he decided that he would turn his life around. In 1985, he was signed by a semi-professional club named ‘Greenwich Borough.’ His hard work and talent paid off, and in 1985, he was hired by ‘Crystal Palace’ football club. In September 1991, he got a big breakthrough when he received an offer from ‘Arsenal,’ one of the biggest English clubs. He ended up scoring 128 goals in the 221 games he played for the club. He later played for ‘West Ham United’ and ‘Celtic.’ In the early 2000s, he turned to a broadcast TV career after retiring from football. He also received an ‘MBE’ award for his service to football. He is now a well-known radio and TV personality.
Childhood & Early Life
Ian Edward Wright was born on November 3, 1963, in Woolwich, London, England, to Nesta Wright and Herbert Maclean, who were immigrants from Jamaica. Ian was the third and the youngest son in the family. He grew up with two elder brothers: Maurice and Nicky. He was raised amidst extreme poverty in south-eastern London’s Woolwich area.
Struggling to provide for three children, his father abandoned the family when Ian was just 18 months old. A few years later, his mother remarried, but Ian’s stepfather did not care about him. Ian has talked about his childhood’s traumatic experiences several times and has also said that he was often severely beaten by his stepfather as a child. Ian further stated that he had been “very angry” throughout his childhood.
However, he found solace in football. He had a natural knack for the game and spent most of his childhood playing football. He was an active and extroverted kid, a quality his stepfather did not like much.
By the time he stepped into his teenage years, he had turned into a bitter young man. A teacher named Sydney Pidgen came into his life and taught him some valuable lessons to move forward in life. He taught Ian how to read and write and gave him ideas to come out of the darkness that he had withdrawn into since his childhood years.
Ian’s love for football rejuvenated, and he decided to become a professional footballer at the age of 14. However, he was rejected by several clubs. Following his high-school graduation, Ian learned plastering and brick layering to make ends meet.
He also married early and suffered from extreme poverty. He was once fined for driving a car without insurance. He was unable to pay the fine and was imprisoned as a result. This experience changed him. While in prison, he decided to change his ways and resolved to become a footballer at any cost.
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In the 2000s, Ian began his TV career, appearing as a presenter on shows such as ‘Friends Like These,’ ‘The National Lottery Wright Ticket,’ ‘What Kids Really Think,’ and ‘I’d Do Anything.’
In 2009, he was hired to present the ‘Channel 5’ show titled ‘Live from Studio Five.’ However, due to some internal issues, his contract was not renewed and he left the show in September 2010.
He has been active on radio, too, and presents and hosts shows on ‘Absolute Radio.’ He also hosts football-special programs for ‘BBC Radio 5.’
He was also hired as a football pundit on the ‘BBC Sports’ show ‘Match of the Day.’ He later joined ‘BT Sport’ as a football analyst. In 2017, he left ‘BT Sport’ after he got busier with ‘Match of the Day.’
Additionally, Ian has also appeared in TV commercials for brands such as ‘Nescafe,’ ‘Chicken Tonight,’ and ‘Ladbrokes.’
Family & Personal Life
In 2016, Ian Wright published his autobiography, ‘A Life in Football.’
Ian Wright has been married to Nancy Hallam since 2011. They have two children together. He admitted in his autobiography that he has had eight children from his four relationships. Two of his sons, Shaun and Bradley Wright, are professional footballers.