Ian Wright's Departure from Match of the Day: Gary Lineker's Heartfelt Tribute
Ian Wright's Departure from ...
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Ian Wright's Departure from Match of the Day: Gary Lineker's Heartfelt Tribute

17 December 2023
2 min.
Ian Wright's Departure from Match of the Day: Gary Lineker's Heartfelt Tribute

Wright's Final Whistle

Ian Wright, the beloved former Arsenal striker, is leaving Match of the Day after two decades, signaling the end of an era that began in 1997 during his playing days. In a heartfelt announcement, Wright expressed his desire to explore new opportunities on Saturdays.

Wright, now 60, has been a consistent presence on the BBC program since 2002, taking a hiatus between 2008 and 2015 before making a triumphant return. Earlier this year, he and his son, Shaun Wright-Phillips, etched their names in history as the first father-son duo to share insights as pundits on Match of the Day.

Reflecting on his decision, Wright shared, "After my debut show while still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season. It’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays."

Gary Lineker, the host of Match of the Day, conveyed his sentiments in a social media post, dubbing Wright "one of my favorite people on the planet." Lineker's farewell message echoed the sentiments of fans and colleagues, underscoring the privilege of working alongside the football legend.

Wright's contribution to Match of the Day has been nothing short of iconic. His infectious wit, warmth, and insightful analysis have left an indelible mark on the show for over two decades. This departure has sparked an outpouring of tributes from within the football community.

In a statement, Philip Bernie, the head of BBC Sport Content, acknowledged Wright's unique style and presence, affirming, "We will miss his unique style and presence when he goes at the end of this season, but we will be sure to give him the send-off he deserves."

Beyond Match of the Day, Ian Wright's broadcasting career has seen success with ITV and BT Sport. He hosts his own podcast, "Wrighty’s House," and has twice been honored as the TV/Radio Pundit of the Year by the Football Supporters’ Association in 2020 and 2022.

Ian Wright, Arsenal legend, leaves Match of the Day after two decades. His iconic legacy promises to endure, bringing excitement to the season finale. As he bids adieu, Wright looks forward to new adventures with the same passion he showcased since 1997.

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