Bernie Wright

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Bernie Wright
Personal information
Full name Bernard Peter Wright[1]
Date of birth (1952-09-17) 17 September 1952 (age 64)
Place of birth Birmingham, England[2]
Playing position Centre-forward
Youth career
Birmingham City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1971 Walsall 15 (2)
1971–1972 Everton 11 (2)
1973–1976 Walsall 152 (38)
1976–1978 Bradford City 66 (13)
1978–1980 Port Vale 76 (23)
Kidderminster Harriers
Trowbridge Town
Cheltenham Town
Worcester City
Gloucester City
Total 320+ (78+)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Bernard Peter Wright (born 17 September 1952), nicknamed Bernie the Bolt,[3] is an English former footballer. A tough centre-forward, he scored 78 goals in 320 league games in a nine-year career in the Football League.

A youth player at Birmingham City, he joined Walsall in 1971, moving on to Everton later in the year. After one season with the "Toffees" he moved back to Walsall. In 1976, he transferred to Bradford City, winning promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1976–77, before signing for Port Vale two years later for a £9,000 fee. In 1980, he went into non-league football with Kidderminster Harriers, later playing for Trowbridge Town, Cheltenham Town, Worcester City, and Gloucester City.

Playing career[edit]

Birmingham born Wright became a professional at Third Division Walsall under Bill Moore, after leaving Birmingham City in 1971. The next year he was signed by Harry Catterick's Everton, after impressing in an FA Cup clash between Everton and Walsall at Goodison Park on 5 February 1972.[4] However, he only played eleven First Division games for the club, scoring two goals, before having his contract terminated for 'serious misconduct' after a training ground incident.[5] He had punched coach Stewart Imlach after he had overlooked Wright for a first team spot.[6] Though he only enjoyed an eleven-month stay with the club, he created an impression on the Everton fans, who remember him for using his head to accidentally break the toe of Sheffield United centre-back Eddie Colquhoun during an attempted diving header.[4]

Wright returned to Walsall in 1973 for a fee of £10,000,[7] and scored 38 goals in 152 league games during his four years at Fellows Park. After struggling in the lower half of the table in 1972–73 and 1973–74 under John Smith and then Ronnie Allen, the "Saddlers" came close to promotion in 1974–75 and 1975–76 under Doug Fraser's stewardship. He joined Bobby Kennedy's Bradford City in 1976, where he scored 13 goals in 66 league games. Bradford won promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1976–77, but suffered relegation in 1977–78 under John Napier. Wright and Don Hutchins were joint-top scorer in 1977–78 with ten goals.

In June 1978, Dennis Butler's Port Vale paid the "Bantams" £9,000 to secure Wright's services; Vale had been relegated along with Bradford the previous season. Wright scored on his debut, a 1–1 draw at Chester in a League Cup game on 16 August 1978. Nine days later the tough striker endeared himself to "Valiants" fans when he scored a hat-trick past local rivals Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road.[8] He finished as top scorer in the 1978–79 season with 15 strikes in 48 games, and was voted Player of the Year for this achievement.[9] He lost his place under caretaker-manager Alan Bloor, though regained it with a brace against Northampton Town. He went on to record 9 goals in 33 games in 1979–80, but fell out with new manager John McGrath, and dropped out of the Football League at the end of the season, joining Kidderminster Harriers of the Southern Football League on a free transfer.[10] He later played for Trowbridge Town, Cheltenham Town, Worcester City and Gloucester City.

Post-retirement[edit]

Wright later became a forklift truck supervisor and part-time referee in the Central Warwickshire Sunday Leagues.[5]

Statistics[edit]

  • Sourced from Bernie Wright profile at the English National Football Archive (subscription required)
Club Season Division League FA Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Walsall 1971–72 Third Division 15 2 5 3 0 0 20 5
Everton 1971–72 First Division 8 1 0 0 0 0 8 1
1972–73 First Division 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 1
Total 11 2 0 0 0 0 11 2
Walsall 1972–73 Third Division 16 6 0 0 0 0 16 6
1973–74 Third Division 28 7 2 0 4 0 34 7
1974–75 Third Division 41 8 6 2 1 0 48 10
1975–76 Third Division 44 12 1 0 2 0 47 12
1976–77 Third Division 23 5 5 2 3 1 31 8
Total 152 38 14 4 10 1 176 43
Bradford City 1976–77 Fourth Division 20 3 0 0 0 0 20 3
1977–78 Third Division 46 10 1 0 2 0 49 10
Total 66 13 1 0 2 0 69 13
Port Vale 1978–79 Fourth Division 46 14 1 0 1 1 48 15
1979–80 Fourth Division 30 9 1 0 2 0 33 9
Total 76 23 2 0 3 1 81 24
Career Total 320 78 22 7 15 2 357 87

Honours[edit]

with Bradford City

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bernie Wright". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  2. ^ "Stats". neilbrown.newcastlefans.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sting Ray Answers Your Everton Quiz Questions". bluekipper.com. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Bernie Wright". evertonresults.com. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Bernie Wright: February 1972 - January 1973". evertonfc.com. Retrieved 20 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 258. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3. 
  7. ^ "Transfer agreement for B. P. Wright between Everton F.C. and Walsall F.C.". The Everton Collection. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 
  8. ^ Kent, Jeff (December 1991). Port Vale Tales: A Collection Of Stories, Anecdotes And Memories. Witan Books. p. 313. ISBN 0-9508981-6-3. 
  9. ^ Kent, Jeff (1990). The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale. Witan Books. p. 305. ISBN 0-9508981-4-7. 
  10. ^ Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 318. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0.