Thursday, 12 January 2017


Player's  mum missed out on massive Grimsby fish
FORMER England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright has revealed how one of  the disappointments of his illustrious career in football came after a match at Blundell Park when he was still a young player with his first club, Crystal Palace.

"When we played up in Grimsby, they would give every player a massive fish to take home,"he recalls.

But he was persuaded to hand over his fish by  a senior team mate, Jim Cannon,  who had been giving him a hard time in weekday training.

He continues: "I gave it to him, hoping to placate him or something even though I knew my mum would have loved it."

But his act of goodwill was to no avail. Of his team mate, he says: "On Monday, he was back to his  regular, miserable self."

The anecdote comes in Wright's recently-published autobiography, My Life in Football,  where he describes his ups and downs both in the game and outside it.

Now a pundit on BBC's Match of the The Day and other football shows, he is critical of the Professional Footballers' Association  for not doing more to help players facing depression or other issues, particularly after their careers are over.

He says: “A lot of players or former players don’t know what help is available to them or aren’t capable of finding out for themselves.

“This is where the PFA should come in. I don’t think they do nearly enough to ensure the wellbeing of footballers  after they have  finished playing.

“We pay enough to them in our careers, and they get a cut of TV  money, but they don’t instigate the sort of help so many players need.”

The author (52) also queries the role of agents, claiming there are "more  bad ones than good ones”.

He continues: “On the purely practical side, nobody needs an agent - they do nothing that a solicitor or accountant can’t do.

“When a player gets an agent,  all he is  doing is giving that person the opportunity  to be a middleman to make money for himself which, in the majority of cases, is all he does.

“Agents are like glorified hotel concierges. They answer the phone and fix up little things, but they do not necessarily advance a player’s career or make sure he still has one.”

* Ian Wright: My Life in Football is published by Littlebrown at £18.99 though copies have been available for as little as £6.50 from some outlets including the Tesco store at Hewitt's Circus, Cleethorpes.

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