Ian Wright outlines importance of passion in football

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From the playground to the Premier League. Arsenal legend Ian Wright has experienced this transition first hand and he is featured in a new short film by Barclays, taking a trip down memory lane to recall the passion he had for playing football and the influence his older brother had on his young life.

The video, which is just shy of five minutes long, takes the 50-year-old back to his primary school, where he recounts days of playing football on the playground at lunch times. 

"Everybody on the playground liked me, everybody wanted me on their team," he recalls fondly as he bounces a tennis ball up and down.

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He talks about his passion for the game, playing football from morning through to the evening and says he enjoyed waking up for school every morning because he knew he'd be able to play more football. 

Bad boy

Despite his love for football, he was known to be: "temperamental, disruptive and 'could do well when he wanted'" by his teachers who would often threaten his bad behaviour by not allowing him to play for the school football team on the saturday.

"It would have to be from wednesday onwards because they had to give me monday and tuesday to be a bit disruptive," he says.


The short film is a great insight into the life of a footballing legend for both the Gunners and England. 

It is rare to be given the opportunity to see the perspectives of ex-professionals these days, but in just four minutes and 39 seconds of footage, you really capture how passionate Wright was for the game, and it makes you feel a sense of happiness that he achieved his dreams - which included winning the Premier League with Arsenal.

Major influence

He talks about the influence his older brother Morris had on his early life, saying he always teased him about his footballing abilities, making him practice even harder.

Wright says: "If I had to pin it down to what really got me going and motivated, my ethic to work hard while I was on my own, I owe it to Maurice. Him being horrible, him being a big brother inadvertently turned me into a Premier League footballer."

Leaving school at the age of 14 could have had a negative impact on Wright who claims he'd walk around the streets with his friends. He was a "useless labourer, a useless bricklayer, a useless plasterer," so it is fortunate he got his head down and made it as a professional footballer.

Barclays are the official sponsors of the Premier League and produced this short film to highlight how passion and determination can take you anywhere in life.

England Football
Premier League
Ian Wright

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