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Football

20th May 2024

Ian Wright wells up as he makes final Match of the Day appearance

Charlie Herbert

ian wright makes final match of the day appearance

The end of an era

Ian Wright was tearing up as he made his final appearance on Match of the Day, during which he was presented with a special gold cap.

The Arsenal legend had announced in December that this season would be his last as a pundit on Match of the Day.

And on Sunday night, the pundit bid an emotional farewell to the iconic highlights show, more than two decades on from his first MOTD appearance.

Wright appeared alongside regular co-presenters Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer as the trio presented highlights from the last day of the 2023/24 Premier League season.

The 60-year-old had been emotional from the start of the show, and when Lineker handed him a special gold cap as a parting gift, it all got a bit too much for Wrighty.

A montage was then aired of Wright’s highlights as a MOTD pundit, which featured messages from family and friends only ramped up the emotion.

When the broadcast returned to the studio, Wright was wearing the special cap.

Paying tribute to his colleagues, he said: “This has been the greatest for me. Match of the Day means the whole world to me, you lot don’t even know. I’ve got my eight, nine, ten [tattoos with the shirt numbers of himself, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer], my two guys who I love so much on there.

“People laugh at me for getting my eight, nine, ten, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer but it’s because I love you man. You’re my guys.”

Sheared then said “we’ll miss you on Saturdays,” before Lineker joked that it would only be a few days before they’d all be seeing each other during the FA Cup final, when Wright will be part of ITV’s coverage.

Lineker added: “It’s been at absolute pleasure and a delight to work with you for so long. You’re a breathe of fresh air and you always have been. Thank you.”

It wasn’t to be the dream farewell for Wright though, as his beloved Arsenal failed to win their first Premier League title in 20 years.

The Gunners fell just short as Manchester City beat West Ham on the final day to finish at the summit of the table for the fourth year in a row.

Speaking about why he was bringing his Match of the Day career to close, Wright said back in December that it “had been coming for a while” and his decision had been “fast-tracked” after celebrating his 60th birthday last month.

“Ultimately, it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays,” he added.

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