Ian Wright will depart Match of the Day at the conclusion of the season

Former England striker, Ian Wright, has made the surprising announcement that he will be departing from his role on Match of the Day at the conclusion of the current season. The 60-year-old pundit revealed his decision to step away from what he referred to as “the most iconic football show in the world” in order to “do a few more different things with my Saturdays.”

Taking to his official X (formerly Twitter) account, Wright expressed gratitude for the opportunity, stating, “After my debut show while still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season. I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world.”

Throughout his time on the program, Wright formed strong friendships and cherished many great memories. He admitted that his decision to leave has been on his mind for a while, and while his birthday earlier in the year may have accelerated the process, it is ultimately time for him to explore different opportunities. He also expressed excitement about covering what he hopes will be an exhilarating Premier League title race in his remaining months on the show.

Wright initially appeared on Match of the Day in 1997 during his playing days at Arsenal, and became a regular on the program following his retirement from professional football in 2002. During his first appearance, he famously referred to the program as his “Graceland,” highlighting his deep passion for the sport.

His departure from the show prompted a heartfelt farewell from his former England teammate and current Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker. Lineker expressed, “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work alongside you, Ian. One of my favourite people on the planet. Farewell my friend.”

Wright’s decision to leave the iconic football program has stirred emotions among fans and fellow colleagues, all of whom have expressed their respect and admiration for his contributions over the years. As the end of the season approaches, many will be eagerly anticipating his final appearances on the show as he wraps up a significant chapter in his broadcasting career.

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