Richard Wright (footballer)

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Richard Wright (footballer) bigraphy, stories - English footballer

Richard Wright (footballer) : biography

5 November 1977 –

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.

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., England Football Online. Retrieved 15 July 2007.

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.

Arsenal

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.

Everton

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.