A tribute to Arsenal’s very own Ian Wright on his OBE – “I shouldn’t be here”

Ian Wright will be handed an OBE in King Charles’ first Birthday Honours list.

It’s the latest moment in the life of the 59-year-old that shouldn’t have happened.

When he puts on his finest suit and shiniest shoes to meet the King, Wright might think ‘ I shouldn’t be here ‘.

Which is fitting as he might have been saying that his whole life.

Officially the accolade is an acknowledgement for his services to football and charity.

In terms of his sport’s achievements, only Thierry Henry has scored more goals in the history of Arsenal. In that time the striker lifted every domestic trophy possible, and is one of the few Gunners to enjoy success in Europe.

He also represented England 33 times.

While playing, after retirement and as a TV pundit, few have been as passionate about wearing our shirt.

Hairs stand up on my arms when I hear Wright staying round David Rocastle’s house the night before his first Arsenal training session, awake into the early hours as he listened to stories about ‘The Arsenal’.

A generation of Gooners won’t be able to relate to that, brought up with the concept of our best talent wanting to leave.

Wright loved the badge, was honoured to represent the crest, and felt privileged the club chose him, not the other way around.

‘Wright shouldn’t be here’.

He didn’t turn professional into the age of 21!

Having been rejected so many times and with a young family to support, it was a general dilemma to give up a full-time job for one more shot at immortality.

Currently one of the faces of Football coverage in the UK, every time Wright is sat on the Match of The Day sofa he has said, ‘I shouldn’t be here‘.

The programme represents to him a childhood comfort but also a trauma.

It used to be a vehicle for his stepfather’s emotional abuse, a prop to bully a child with.

Wright would be made to face the wall in tears only being allowed to hear the commentary, as his stepdad purposely watched the highlights, laughing out loud.

Turning what should been escapism into control, the latest power play.

Ian Wright is a patron for the Jordan Sinnott Foundation trust, who’s ethos is to provide sporting opportunities for those less privileged.

Ian Wright wasn’t meant to be the face of a charity.

He was meant to be the victim, suppressed by a childhood where he didn’t have the support, financially or emotionally to make it to the top of his profession.

Yet that’s why Wright deserves as many accolades as possible.

Not for his goals or even the thousands he helped donate to good causes.

Wright’s story warrants his OBE. His tale is inspiration to any youngster who grows up in poverty, anyone subjected to abuse, anyone told they were not good enough.

Sharing a one-bedroom flat with his parents, Wright became a millionaire.

He was told by his own mother she wished she had a termination, but he would go on instead to be adored by thousands.

Wright chased his dreams while many told him he was chasing illusions.

His hard work and personality were the only reasons he defied the odds.

His turning point, two weeks in prison for failing to pay fines, where he made a vow to his unborn child that his rock bottom wouldn’t go lower.

A promise to step out of darkness into light.

Yet he never forgot his roots, was aware where he came from and he is grateful it didn’t end in a certain other direction.

In the UK last year, 1.6 million women were victims of domestic abuse, 90 percent of time a child is present.

So, what better Gunner to get this honour.

An infectious smile that couldn’t be wiped away, no matter how many beatings, no matter how harsh the words, no matter the manipulation.

Ian Wright scored 185 goals in 288 games for Arsenal.

He gave memories that will last forever and stole thousands of hearts every other week at Highbury.

On behalf of the JustArsenal Family congratulations to Ian Wright …Mr OBE


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    1. Genuine Stalwart, focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of an ambition. It ask too little of yourself, as its only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.

      Congratulations bro, my respect for you is concrete.

  1. A fantastic article, well done. I had the honour to meet him once when his Harley Davidson broke down outside my shop. We offered to let him park it on our premises and he left us the keys until someone came and picked it up from us. I was somewhat surprised he trusted us, total strangers to look after his bike and keys but I suppose mine and my colleagues love for Arsenal, shone through to him and he felt that was enough to trust us. We all took pictures with him that day, that I still have and cherish. A true gentleman and a real life legend, that I consider myself very lucky to have met in person. Ole, ole. Ole, ole. Ian Wright, Wright Wright! ❤️🤍

    1. Such a patriotic Englishman ridiing a USA motor bike. Suddenly, I have gone right off Wrighty!

      Joking of course, lest SOME on here believe that rubbish.

      You’d have to go a long way to meet a person as TOP CLASS and genuine as Ian Wright Wright Wright.
      And Harley D’s are TOP bikes too, BYW!

      1. Congratulations Ian Wright you’re one of our own who’s made it to the very top, 🎊 👏 congrats again 👏

  2. What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for writing this. Ian Wright is a wonderful ambassadór for Arsenal

  3. Ian Wright Wright Wright was a fantastic player now a fantastic panelist congratulations who so much deserves his obe .I still get goose pimples watch your goals

  4. Congratulations to Ian Wright on the well deserved award of an OBE. Triumph over adversity.

  5. Well done Ian!!

    Its because of you i started supporting Arsenal. I was a teenager when i 1st saw you play for Cpalace against ManU in the FA cup.

    At the time i didn’t even support a team in the EPL. Although Palace lost, in the replay, your sheer determination & heroics inspired me so much that i became a Gooner when you joined Arsenal.



  6. Lucky enough to have met Ian on a couple of occasions – one was when he signed a shirt for my grandson and that hangs on his bedroom wall.
    The other time was at a book signing of his first autobiography “Mr Wright, where he asked me what I wanted him to write.

    I said ” To Ken a fellow Lifelong Arsenal supporter ”

    He wrote” To Ken fellow lifelong Arsenal supporting ”

    I was so starstruck, I never noticed it, till I got home!!

    Recommend you all read both his autobiographies – Mr Wright and A life in football – Ian Wright.

    Well deserved honour Ian, you are a inspiration for anybody to follow and a true Arsenal Legend – Thank you.

    1. For Ken
      Very few Arsenal players that I would refer to as a “legend” apart from him because of his background and his rise even though there are many others with an even more glittering careers. But this guy is truly that : Ian Wright .. Right .. Right. It is the least you deserve.

  7. He deserved a statue more than others because not only is he a club legend who gave his all but also stayed close to the club from then.

  8. Awesome article about a well rounded gentleman. A True Gunner through and through.
    Well deserved recognition.
    Enough Respect Mr Wright.

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