Days after football legend Ian Wright announced he is quitting Match Of The Day after 26 years as a pundit, the 60-year-old opened up about the bond he shares with his co-stars Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.
The former Arsenal player divulged that he’d grown incredibly close to his fellow sportsmen after working together during Covid, so much so that he has a tattoo dedicated to their friendship.
Speaking on his Wrighty’s House podcast earlier this week, Ian said: “I got my 8 9 10 tattoo because it’s my (old Arsenal football shirt) number, it’s Shearer’s number and it’s Gary Lineker’s number.
“Especially after we’d done Covid, we bonded really tightly in and around that time. We spoke to each other a lot.”
He then joked that Gary, 63, was “vexed” after Ian said he thought Alan Shearer was better than him.
The pundit continued: “The other day Gary was vexed because there was some poll, Lineker or Shearer? And I said Shearer. And he said, ‘You said that too quickly for me’. I call him G-Force, and I said, ‘G-force, you know what you mean to me, bro!’.
“When we played against him, Alan Shearer was living rent free in my head. Now he is a friend. To be able to say we are tight, the family are tight, is incredible. I have to say he’s better than me at golf — which gets on my nerves — but I’m going to miss the guys.”
Over the weekend, Ian announced that he will step down from Match Of The Day at the end of the season, explaining that he wants to “do a few more different things with my Saturdays”.
In an emotional statement shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, the ex-striker penned: “After my debut show whilst 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… I’m stepping back having made great friends and many great memories.
“This decision has been coming for a while, maybe my birthday earlier this year fast-tracked it a little, but ultimately it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays.
“I’m really looking forward to my last months on the show and covering what will hopefully be an amazing Premier League title race.”
Gary later paid tribute to his pal, saying: “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work alongside you, Ian. One of my favourite people on the planet. Farewell my friend.”