Former England and Arsenal footballer Ian Wright has revealed in a documentary Ian Wright: Nothing To Something for Britain’s ITV4 that he had a troubled and traumatic childhood.
The 50 year-old former ex-Gunners and Crystal Palace player, who also excelled for and England recalled: “Dad left when I was about 18 months and I saw him in like 10-year spells. And my step dad came in, I must have been about five-six and he wasn’t a nice fella. He didn’t like me at all. I loved my football and loved watching Match of The Day but I remember lying in our room, facing the wall, crying, wanting to watch it, and my step dad — a rough-voiced, rough talking guy, real bully, very strong man making me turn away and not watch it.
“I remember when I finally got to do Match of The Day, I said to Des Lynam, ‘This is my Graceland.’ You know like people go to Graceland to pay homage to Elvis,” said Wright a renowned football pundit now.
His father was no angel either, as Wright explained: “Once he asked me to wait by a pillar in front of an estate in London as he was to take me to buy a pair of jeans for a school trip the next day. ‘Be on the pillar at 9am,’ he said but as excited as I was, I got there at half-past eight just to be on the safe side. I hadn’t seen my dad in six years but even then he came only at 4pm to pick me up.”
His father recently passed away and Wright, who attended his funeral said: “It was like going to a stranger's funeral. People were saying I should be up there speaking about him, but I didn't f****** know this guy at all,” said Wright, who blamed his poor childhood for anger and even prison that followed until he turned 19 and took to football.
“Even with counselling it’s very hard to try and shake it all off,” said Wright who felt his decision to adopt a two-year-old Shaun Wright-Phillips when he was just 19 came from the troubles he’d been through himself. Wright became Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer, notching 185 goals. The record has only been overtake by one man till date — Thierry Henry.