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Ian Wright speaks about his BBC's Match of the Day exit

Published: Updated: 06:21, 27 May 2024
Arsenal legend recently left BBC’s iconic show after 27 years long association

Ian Wright, a beloved figure in the world of football, recently announced his departure from BBC Match of the Day. After 27 years on the show, Wright decided to "step back" following an emotional send-off at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Wright has had a long and illustrious history with Match of The Day. He first made his debut on the show as a player in 1997. However, he quickly transitioned into becoming a regular pundit by 2002. Since then, he has been held in high esteem by fans and fellow pundits alike.

Throughout his tenure on the show, Wright was known for his love for football and unique sense of humour. His insightful observations about matches were always delivered with great insight but also with an affable charm that made him a likeable figure on screen.

His final send-off was so touching that it almost brought fellow pundits Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer to tears - testament to how much he will be missed on this iconic programme.

Wright wants to spend time with family

In an episode of The Overlap’s Stick to Football podcast, Arsenal legend explained why he decided to leave Match Of The Day after such a long stint:

Arsenal legend, Ian Wright, said:

“It’s time. I had a dear friend who said that sometimes you’ve got to know when to step back, change, rest, have a break, and say no – it’s just time.

“The way I am now, because I have to get back to London [after filming] it’s like 3.30am in the morning – it’s a long day. I leave at 8am in the morning and get back at 12am [midnight].

“I don’t want to stay over in Manchester. I used to but there are personal reasons why I always want to get back home [after filming]. Especially, when you’re on Match of the Day, you’re live and I’ve had a massive problem before with people knowing where you are, so I always want to get back home to the Missus and the girls.

“It just takes me two to three days after that to get ready and there are other things I’m doing which I just haven’t got the energy for sometimes. I’m getting older, I just want to make sure I use the time well and efficiently for myself and at the moment, Match of the Day is the one that if something had to go, it had to be that."

While fans may be saddened by this news, it is clear that Ian Wright's legacy will continue to live on through his contributions over nearly three decades at Match Of The Day.

Ian Wright's departure marks an end to one era but also signals new beginnings both for him and for BBC's flagship sports programme. As we bid farewell to this legendary pundit who brought so much joy and insight into our living rooms every weekend during football season; we can only look forward eagerly towards what lies ahead - both for Wright and for Match of the Day.

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