Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright announced that he was quitting professional football. The reason for quitting professional football was to focus on a television career. He announced his retirement on 7 June 2000.

The 37-year-old had just been on loan at third-tier Burnley for three months, helping them promote Division One when he called time on his career that began in 1985, ending with 324 goals in 626 games.

The tale of Wright is well known, coming through non-league after a difficult childhood and making his name at Crystal Palace, scoring two goals in the final of the 1990 FA Cup.

But it was at Arsenal that, throughout the 1990s, he became a household name with consistent performances which earned his 33 caps in England.

20 years of Ian Wright retirement from football

On his way to helping the team reach two FA Cups, a League Cup, a UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup, and most memorably a Premier League title in his final campaign at Highbury, he regularly overtook the scoring charts.

Wright broke Cliff Bastin ‘s record of 178 goals for the Gunners during the 1997-98 season – a feat Thierry Henry has since outdone.

He spent the latter years of his career at West Ham, Celtic, and Burnley, but beckoned to a career on television, and in 2000 Wright called it quits.

He quickly got a raft of hosting gigs including his talk show and popular Friends Like These game show, while hosting the reborn Gladiators as well. Since retirement, he has also been a daily pundit for both the BBC and ITV.


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