Arsenal legend Ian Wright has announced he is leaving Match of the Day at the end of the season – 27 years after making his debut appearance on the show.
Over the years, Wright has been a regular fixture on our screens on Saturday evening, alongside Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, and is one of the nation’s most popular pundits.
He also appears regularly on Match of the Day 2, and covers live Women’s Super League and FA Cup football for the BBC.
But the former striker, who turned 60 last month, has announced his decision to depart the show in an emotional statement.
Taking to X (Twitter), he wrote: “After my debut show whilst still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season.
After my debut show whilst still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season. I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world. pic.twitter.com/aHRK0CmNJH
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) December 17, 2023
“I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world.
“Anyone that knows my story knows how much the show has meant to me since I was a young boy. MOTD is my Holy Grail.
“On my first ever show, I told Des Lynam, ‘This is my Graceland’. It will always be my Graceland and I will always be watching.
“I’m stepping back having made great friends and many great memories.
“This decision has been coming for a while, maybe my birthday earlier this year fast tracked it a little, but ultimately it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays.”
Wright added that he would be remaining on the show until the end of the 2023/24 Premier League season – meaning we’ve still got a few more months of the Arsenal icon in the hotseat.
The 60-year-old made his first appearance on the show whilst still a player in 1997, although it wasn’t until 2002 that he became a regular pundit.
BBC have confirmed that Wright will be given ‘the send-off he deserves‘ before he does depart this summer, and he will be present on MOTD2 to analyse this afternoon’s Premier League matches.