Richard Wright (footballer)
|Full name||Richard Ian Wright|
|Date of birth||5 November 1977|
|Place of birth||Ipswich, England|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Current club||Manchester City|
|2007–2008||West Ham United||0||(0)|
|2008||→ Southampton (loan)||7||(0)|
|2012||Preston North End||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:12, 6 July 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
Richard Ian Wright (born 5 November 1977) is an English professional goalkeeper and Goalkeeper coach who plays for Manchester City. Born in Ipswich, he joined Ipswich Town as a trainee, going on to play for the club more than 200 times between 1995 and 2001.
He moved to Premier League club Arsenal in 2001 before being signed by Everton in 2002 where he spent five years. A brief spell on loan from West Ham United with Southampton was followed by a transfer back to Ipswich Town. Having made over 50 more appearances for the club, he was released at the end of the 2010–11 season. He joined Champions Manchester City on a free transfer on 31 August 2012. He has been a member of the England squad, and has two caps.
Club career 
Ipswich Town 
Wright was born in Ipswich, Suffolk and joined Ipswich Town as a trainee in January 1995, making his début as a 17-year-old in a 2–0 victory at home to Coventry City in May 1995. He played a major role in Ipswich's 1999–2000 season when the club were promoted from the Football League First Division to the Premier League via the play-offs, defeating Barnsley, and Wright saved an all-important penalty kick. He made a total of 298 league and cup appearances for Ipswich.
Wright joined Arsenal in July 2001 for an undisclosed fee, reported as £6m but claims have suggested it was as low as £2m due to a clause in Wright's contract, a figure subsequently suggested as more likely by the club's accounts. He signed a five-year contract. Manager Arsène Wenger envisaged him as a long-term successor to David Seaman and also as a more experienced competitor for the previous second choice goalkeeper Alex Manninger (who soon left the club). He made his début against Derby County on 29 September, but despite an injury to Seaman which gave him an extended run in the team, his season soon fell apart. He punched the ball into his own net in a 4–2 home defeat to Charlton Athletic and then limped off with injury in a UEFA Champions League match against Deportivo La Coruna. Wright later slipped to third-choice behind youth goalkeeper Stuart Taylor and only played FA Cup matches for the remainder of the season, although Seaman replaced him for the final, which Arsenal won 2–0 against Chelsea. He made his last Arsenal appearance on the final day of the 2001–02 season, a 4–3 victory over Everton. He was substituted in the 85th minute for Taylor, which gave both goalkeepers enough appearances to qualify for a Premier League winners' medal that season. Wright made 22 appearances for Arsenal in total.
Although initially first-team keeper at Everton, a number of injuries, including damage to his shoulder after falling out of his loft, hampered his playing aspirations. He lost his place at Everton and had to be content with being understudy to veteran Nigel Martyn. During 2005–06 Martyn had a spell out with injury, but Wright promptly injured himself whilst warming up in a match against Chelsea. This was a freak accident in which Wright saw a large sign instructing players to use temporary goals but he ignored the warning and fell on the sign, thereby injuring his ankle. This was the second strange injury involving Wright as he had injured himself falling from his loft three years earlier. He did come back to finish the remainder of the season but his form was unimpressive. Despite the retirement of first choice goalkeeper Martyn, Wright remained second in the pecking order for the 2006–07 season behind new arrival Tim Howard.
West Ham United 
On 20 March 2008 he joined Southampton on a month's loan as their first three goalkeepers were all unavailable through injury. He made his debut for Southampton in a 0–0 home draw with Coventry City on 22 March. On 18 April the loan was extended to the end of the 2007–08 season.
Return to Ipswich Town 
Wright rejoined Ipswich on 21 July for an undisclosed fee on a two-year contract with the option of a third year. He then made his 300th club appearance for Ipswich in a 4–1 loss against Wigan Athletic on 23 September in the third round of the League Cup. His fine performances for his hometown club earned him the Players and supporters' player of the season awards for the 2008–2009 season. On 1 December 2009 Wright was ruled out for up to 4 months following a knee injury suffered during a 2–1 win against Cardiff City. Wright was released by Ipswich at the end of the 09/10 season.
Sheffield United 
After a brief trial spell, Wright joined Sheffield United on a free transfer on a four-month short-term deal in September 2010, having been extended until the end of the season. Despite this Wright spent most of his time at Bramall Lane injured and made only two starts, both times being withdrawn mid way through the game due to further injuries. His contract was terminated with Sheffield United by mutual consent on at the start of April 2011.
Third spell at Ipswich Town 
Wright returned to Ipswich in the summer of 2011 to train with the club. Having been on trial at other clubs he had impressed enough while training with Ipswich to earn a call up to the reserves, in which he featured in a game against Colchester United.
Wright re-signed for the club for his third spell on 23 November 2011. Earlier in the week he had stated he wanted to return to the club: "I love Ipswich Town Football Club, I don’t hide that. I think everyone knows that, but at the moment there’s nothing there for me – simple as that, you just get on with it and look elsewhere. If anything changed and something came up (at Ipswich) then I’d be a liar to say I wouldn’t consider it because I would." In his third debut for the club, he conceded three times in a 3–2 home defeat to Reading.
Preston North End 
On 1 July 2012, Wright signed for Preston North End; however, he left the club only one week into pre-season training as he was suffering from homesickness. He made no appearances for the club. He has subsequently been on trial with Colchester United. 
Manchester City 
On 30 August 2012 he signed for Manchester City on a one-year contract as backup to Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon on a free transfer. Following his arrival fellow goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen cancelled his contract at Manchester City.
International career 
Wright has been included in 3 squads and capped twice for England, making his debut against Malta in a friendly in 2000; he conceded a penalty kick early on but saved a second penalty in the 88th minute as England won 2–1. He was a member of the England Euro 2000 squad, where he was third choice behind David Seaman and Nigel Martyn, and won his second cap as a substitute in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2001. However, he has not been called up to the England squad since 2003.
Career statistics 
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1994–95||Ipswich Town||Premier League||3||0||-||1||0||-||4||0|
|2007–08||West Ham United||Premier League||-||-||3||0||-||3||0|
Stats accurate as at 12:40, 3 January 2011.
- With Ipswich Town
- Division 1 (Level 2) Playoffs: 1999–2000
- With Arsenal
- Brown, Geoff (7 May 1995). "Sky falls in on Coventry". London: The Independent. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- "Arsenal complete Wright signing". BBC Sport. 5 July 2001. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
- "Gers star hurt by exploding egg". BBC News. 15 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Brodkin, Jon (9 February 2006). "Robben keeps his feet as Everton fall". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
- "Everton release Pistone & Wright". BBC Sport. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2007.
- "Wright signs on free transfer", West Ham United Official Site, 4 July 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
- "Saints sign Wright". www.saintsfc.co.uk. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
- "Southampton 0–0 Coventry". BBC Sport. 22 March 2008. Retrieved 13 March 2008.
- "Wright loan extended". www.saintsfc.co.uk. 18 April 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2008.
- "Ipswich re-sign goalkeeper Wright". BBC Sport. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
- "Ipswich Town keeper Richard Wright out for four months". BBC Sport. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "United secure Wright deal". Sheffield United F.C. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- "Sheffield United show trio exit". eurosport.com. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- "Ipswich 2–3 Reading". BBC Sport. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
- "Richard Wright leaves Preston citing homesickness". BBC Sport website. UK.
- "England Players – Richard Wright", England Football Online. Retrieved 15 July 2007.
- "Richard Wright Career Stats". Soccerbase. 30 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
- Richard Wright career stats at Soccerbase
- Profile on The FA website
- ESPNSoccernet.com player profile