Last updated : 06 February 2013 By Paul Coppack & Tony Scholes

Date and Place of Birth

3rd November 1963 - WOOLWICH


Transfers to and from Burnley

from CELTIC - 14th February 2000

retired - 7th June 2000


First and Last Burnley Games

WIGAN ATHLETIC (h) - 19th February 2000


SCUNTHORPE UNITED (a) - 9th May 2000

sub: replaced Andy Cooke


Other Clubs





Burnley Career Stats


Season League FA Cup League Cup Others Total
  apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls apps gls
1999/2000 4(11) 4 - - - - - - 4(11) 4
Total 4(11) 4 - - - - - - 4(11) 4


Profile by Paul Coppack


On Valentines Day 2000, Stan Ternent made one of the most sensational signings in the history of Burnley Football Club; it's one of those days in history when Clarets supporters can reminisce, "Where were you… when Burnley signed Ian Wright?"

As a teenager, Wright was unable to win professional deals with clubs such as Southend United or Brighton and Hove Albion and it was not until the age 22 he would win his first contract.

In 1985, he was plucked from obscurity when Crystal Palace offered him a trial after being spotted playing Sunday League football, and after signing professional terms he went on to score 9 goals in his first season at Selhurst Park.

In his next season, The "Wright and Bright" partnership was a lethal one - an established partnership with Mark Bright. Palace won promotion to the First Division via the Play-Offs in 1989. Shortly afterwards, he was called up to the England B squad, but a cracked shin bone reduced his first impact in England's top flight.

But the season after, it was the dramatic appearance as a 'super-sub' at Wembley Stadium which certainly made Ian Wright a hero amongst the Crystal Palace faithful. The Eagles reached the 1990 FA Cup Final against Manchester United and Wright scored a Crystal Palace equaliser a few minutes after coming onto the pitch - and scored a again in extra time, the eventual score was 3-3, but Palace lost the replay 0-1.

Now with England international caps under his belt, Wright became renowned for his deadly goal scoring ability, scoring a hat-trick in just eighteen minutes against Wimbledon in 1991. Shortly afterwards he moved to Arsenal for a then record-breaking fee of £2.5M.

Like with all the clubs he has joined, apart from Burnley, Wright scored on his debut, his first coming against Leicester City in a League Cup tie, and then scored a hat-trick against Southampton on his League debut, his illustrious career with The Gunners was well on its way as he went on to net 31 goals in all competitions, picking up The Golden Boot Award.

Wright went on to be the leading scorer at Highbury for the next six seasons, totalling 185 goals and breaking Cliff Bastin's goal-scoring record. At Arsenal he won two English league titles, the FA Cup twice, the League Cup and a Cup Winners Cup and also making 33 appearances for his country. He later received an MBE for his services to football.

Short spells at West Ham and Nottingham Forest followed his departure from Arsenal. Then John Barnes lured him to the SPL to play for Celtic, but the Bhoys were having a tough season, Barnes was under fire, and Wright started to mull over his future, as he too was having difficult season by his standards.

During a telephone conversation with Burnley defender and old friend Mitchell Thomas, Wright was considering packing in football to concentrate on his growing television career, and then Thomas asks "Why don't you come and play for us?"

It was news that came out the blue; a week after the signing of Ian Cox, BBC's Radio Lancashire told Burnley fans to stay tuned, because they had some transfer news "that will blow your socks off!"

Cue the frenzy!

With the help of Mitchell Thomas, Stan Ternent and Barry Kilby had pulled off the signing of the century, Turf Moor became a media circus and The Clarets' promotion push to Division One was given a boost.

With leading goal scorer Andy Payton suspended, the signing of Ian Wright was an ideal replacement, and this signing had certainly caught the imagination of the Burnley fans. His home debut against Wigan and the Preston North End game were sold out. It was pandemonium.

Ian Wright didn't score in his first 4 games, but he did eventually grab an equaliser away to Gillingham, a goal he certainly he enjoyed, jumping all over Stan Ternent in celebration. In the grand scheme of things, that equaliser was an important one; as Burnley would be challenging The Gills for the second place spot on the last game of the season - joining Preston with automatic promotion.

He missed two games through suspension relating to an incident in the technical area during his Celtic spell; however Wrighty still had a major part to play in Burnley's promotion campaign. He scored the winner against Notts County at Turf Moor, blasting the ball into the top corner from the edge of the 18 yard box.

Overall he netted 4 goals in 15 appearances (11 of those from the bench). The Clarets secured promotion to the First Division as runners up, and Ian Wright made his final cameo appearance as Burnley won automatic promotion at Scunthorpe United on the final day of the season, while future Claret Mark McGregor scored in a shock victory for Wrexham - Gillingham had to take a Play-Off place.

With the Turf Moor faithful wishing that Wright would stay on with Burnley during their new campaign, he finally confirmed his retirement on ITV's Jerry Springer UK Show to concentrate on his media and television career.

His adopted sons Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips are both currently having success at the professional game, Shaun also currently representing England, while his youngest son Brett Wright is currently on the books at Reading.