Ian Wright’s Net Worth

Depending on your age you’ll either know him as a deadly striker or a dapper presenter – or both. Whatever side you come down on he’s had a colourful career. Here we look back at it all as we explore Ian Wright’s net worth.

So, what is Ian Wright’s net worth?

As of 2021, Wright has a net worth of £15 million. When you consider the route he took into the game and the challenges he’s faced over the years it’s a pretty incredible wealth to boast.

Early life 

“Wrighty”, as he is affectionately known, was born to Jamaican parents in Woolwich, London back in November 1963. His father’s presence is something Wright can scarcely remember with his mother, Nesta, initially raising him alone. A step-father did arrive on the scene but that made things worse. The new male ‘role model’ turned out to be abusive towards Wright.

Wright continued to dream of a career in professional football but multiple trials in his teenage years failed to materialise. Eventually, after spending a fortnight in prison, Wright ended up playing amateur football and working in the building trade as a plasterer. The now 57-year-old was also training to qualify as a bricklayer. It’s something that serves as to how his aspirations had changed so dramatically. 

Turning pro…finally

After several knock backs in his pursuit of a football career, Wright finally penned a contract. It was a semi-pro deal with Greenwich Borough and worth a not so staggering £30 per week. Wright was 21-years-old. 

It doesn’t sound much but it was a marked step up from the Sunday League football he was playing in; it presented him with a platform too. The move duly paid dividends. In just a matter of weeks he was approached by a Crystal Palace scout. From there he attended a trial and subsequently did enough to impress the gaffer, Steve Coppell. 

Palace had just finished 15th in the old Second Division. Wright immediately went into the first team squad and made an instant impact hitting nine goals. By the time he left Selhurst Park for Arsenal, he had bagged 117 goals in 277 appearances. It’s a tally that ranks him third in their all time scorer list. 

Arriving at Arsenal 

Wright spent six seasons with Palace. His goals fired them into the First Division and then helped keep them there. He and Mark Bright had struck up an incredible strike partnership but, in 1991, when Arsenal slapped £2.5m on the table every party got what they wanted. Arsenal got their man, the player got a move to a big club and Crystal Palace had forced the Gunners to part with a club record fee.

The exact amount Wright was earning on joining the North London club is unknown but it’s expected to have been in the region of £1,500 per week. Paltry by today’s standards but still sitting comfortably above the First Division average. Of course, he would likely have had a goals bonus built into his deal too. Given he averaged 26 goals a season in his seven years at Highbury, you can bet he did alright for himself. 

Wright, who was by now in the twilight of his career, joined West Ham at the age of 35. He had become Arsenal’s record scorer with 185 goals – although Thierry Henry has since beaten his haul – and helped them to five major honours, including the 1997/98 league and cup double. 

The final years of his playing career

After two spells of loyalty to Palace and Arsenal, Wright spent his last few years without hitting the same heights. That said, he received high praise during his time at West Ham for passing on his experience and helped Burnley win promotion to England’s second tier. It means a short spell at Celtic, which included a loan to Nottingham Forest, is the only blemish on an otherwise cracking CV. Wright decided to hang up his boots in 2000.

An England international

Before we move on to Wright’s post playing days, it’s only fair we give a nod to his England career. The speedy striker won his first call up in his Crystal Palace days and went on to make 33 appearances between 1991 and 1998. He scored nine goals in the process. Unfortunately, opportunities were somewhat limited behind the likes of Alan Shearer whilst he had dropped out of the international picture prior to the emergence of the ‘Golden Generation’ of David Beckham and co. 

Life after football

It’s perhaps most feasible that you’ve seen Wright on TV as a pundit. He has worked with SkySports, BT, ITV and BBC. As you may expect, a lot of his work has involved providing insight on the beautiful game with his wages from the BBC said to have peaked at £210k per annum. His current role sees him act as presenter come pundit alongside Kelly Cates. The duo previously hosted the 606 radio show together and now have the Kelly and Wrighty Show, which airs on the Premier League channel.

Wright is a hugely popular character and his chipper personality transcends the boundaries of football. It’s seen him hold a wide range of presenting roles be it as a guest on popular shows such as ‘Top of the Pops’, following in Gary Lineker‘s footsteps as a recurring captain on ‘They Think it’s All Over’ or as the host of his very own shows – of which there have been a few; the biggest of which was perhaps ‘Friday Night’s All Wright’. This was a chat show where Wright would interview mainstream celebs with notable names including Watford’s former Chairman and global superstar Elton John.

On top of those more professional roles, the Arsenal legend is more than happy to have a laugh at himself. That’s been proven over the years with his willingness to feature in a range of adverts; it’s something he continues to do to this day. His latest ad sees him chatting with his family – including footballing sons Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips – via ‘Portal’. He’s also appeared as a contestant on hit TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, which he reportedly bagged an impressive £400k from.

Life hasn’t always been plain sailing

We’ve already touched on the early years of Wright. They saw him battle life on the breadline and spending time in prison for failing to pay fines relating to car tax and insurance. He also has eight children from different relationships. Whilst that isn’t something that’s caused him problems Wright has been married twice. He remains with his second wife, Nancy, but it’s believed his divorce from his first marriage combined with what Wright himself describes as failing to get ‘the advice I should have got’ during his lucrative playing days created big issues.

Despite his handsome net worth, there was a time when financial advisors were encouraging Wright to file for bankruptcy. Wright refused. He instead pledged to work hard to pay off everything he owed. It’s proof that his caring and friendly nature isn’t restricted to the television screen.

There you have it, a look at where Ian Wright’s net worth of £15m comes from.

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