Richard Wright (footballer)
Wright with Ipswich Town in 2009
|Full name||Richard Ian Wright|
|Date of birth||5 November 1977|
|Place of birth||Ipswich, England|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|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.
Born in Ipswich, he joined Ipswich Town as a trainee, going on to play for the club 298 times between 1995 and 2001. He then moved to Premier League club Arsenal, 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. After a short spell at Sheffield United, a third stint at Ipswich and a brief time at Preston North End, he joined Premier League champions Manchester City on a free transfer on 31 August 2012. He announced his retirement in May 2016.
Wright was born in Ipswich, Suffolk and signed a professional contract with Ipswich Town on 2 January 1995 after serving his apprenticeship, and made his debut as a 17-year-old in a 2–0 victory at home to Coventry City in May that year. The season ended with Ipswich's relegation from the Premier League, and for the following four, Ipswich lost in the promotion play-offs from the Football League First Division.
He played a major role in Ipswich's 1999–2000 season when the club were promoted via the play-offs at the fifth attempt. On 29 May 2000, in the play-off final against Barnsley, Ipswich won 4–2, with Wright's long goal kick being passed from Marcus Stewart for Richard Naylor to put them 2–1 up. Wright gave away a penalty kick by fouling Craig Hignett, but he saved it from Darren Barnard. In Ipswich's first season back in the top flight, he inspired them to 5th place and qualification to the UEFA Cup.
Wright joined Arsenal on 5 July 2001 for £2 million. 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.
Wright made his debut against Derby County on 29 September, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 win at Pride Park which put his team on the summit of the table. Despite an injury to Seaman which gave him an extended run in the team, he did not capitalise on the opportunity, punching the ball into his own net in a 4–2 home defeat to Charlton Athletic on 4 November when trying to clear from Paul Konchesky. Seventeen days later, he was substituted at half time with injury in a UEFA Champions League match away to Deportivo de La Coruña, being replaced by youth goalkeeper Stuart Taylor in the 2–0 defeat. He slipped to third choice behind Taylor and played mostly 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 ended the season with 12 league appearances, meaning he was eligible for a winners' medal. Wright made 22 appearances for Arsenal in total.
After Seaman was given a one-year contract extension, Wright sought first-team action elsewhere, and on 24 July 2002 he moved to Everton for an initial £3.5 million, potentially rising by another million if a set number of appearances were reached.
On his Goodison Park debut on 17 August, he made an error and gifted a goal to Les Ferdinand in a 2–2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, but a week later he saved a penalty from Kevin Phillips in a 1–0 win at Sunderland. After the season had ended, on 13 June 2003 (Friday the 13th), he had a freak accident when he fell from his loft, injuring his shoulder.
In August 2003, Everton brought in veteran Nigel Martyn. On 13 September, Wright went off injured 26 minutes into an eventual 2–2 draw against Newcastle United. He faced knee surgery and missed the remainder of the season.
During the 2005–06 season, Martyn had a spell out with injury, but Wright injured himself soon after while warming up for a match against Chelsea on 8 February 2006; a large sign instructed players to use temporary goals for their warm-up but he ignored the warning and fell on the sign, injuring his ankle. Despite Martyn's retirement, Wright remained second in the pecking order for the 2006–07 season behind new arrival Tim Howard. He played 71 games in total for Everton, but only two in his last campaign.
West Ham United
Wright was released by Everton alongside Alessandro Pistone at the end of the 2006–07 season, and signed for West Ham United on 4 July 2007. Second-choice to Robert Green, he made his Hammers debut on 28 August in a 2–1 win at Bristol Rovers in the second round of the League Cup.
On 20 March 2008, having only played two further League Cup games for West Ham he joined Southampton of the Championship on a month's loan as their first three goalkeepers were all unavailable through injury. Two days later, he made his debut in a goalless home draw with Coventry City. On 18 April, the loan was extended to the end of the 2007–08 season, he totalled seven appearances for the Saints.
Return to Ipswich Town
Wright rejoined Ipswich on 21 July 2008 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 four months following a knee injury suffered during a 2–1 win against Cardiff City. Wright was released by Ipswich at the end of the 2009–10 season.
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 midway through the game due to further injuries. His contract was terminated with Sheffield United by mutual consent 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, Wright 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, having made no appearances for the club.
Following a trial with Colchester United, Wright signed for Manchester City on 30 August 2012, completing a free transfer and agreeing a one-year contract. On 10 July 2013, Wright signed a one-year extension with City. Despite not making a competitive appearance for the club in either season, he was awarded a new contract for the 2014–15 season, at the expense of second-choice Costel Pantilimon. The contract was extended by one year for the fourth consecutive season, during summer 2015.
Wright remained on the books of Manchester City for four years in total, but never made a first-team appearance before announcing his retirement on 17 May 2016.
Wright was capped twice for England, making his debut against Malta in a friendly on 3 June 2000; he gave away two penalty kicks, conceding the first as David Carabott's shot rebounded into the net off his head after hitting the post, and saving the second, again from Carabott, in the 88th minute as England won 2–1. He was a member of the England UEFA Euro 2000 squad, where he was third choice behind David Seaman and Nigel Martyn.
Wright's father-in-law, Geoff Hammond, recorded two goals in 69 Ipswich appearances between 1970 and 1973. His son, Harry, who plays in the same position, signed a professional deal for Ipswich on his 17th birthday, 4 November 2015.
- As of 10 July 2015
|Club performance||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|1994–95||Ipswich Town||Premier League||3||0||0||0||1||0||—||4||0|
|2007–08||West Ham United||0||0||0||0||3||0||—||3||0|
|2012–13||Manchester City||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
- Ipswich Town
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- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2002/2003 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2003/2004 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2004/2005 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2005/2006 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
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- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2009/2010 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2010/2011 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Richard Wright | Football Stats | Manchester City | Season 2011/2012 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2015.