Can all our footballing icons please stop coming out as former drugs users, please? First we had American Ladies soccer hero, Abby Wambach, admitting substance abuse. And now we’ve got former Arsenal and England striker, Ian Wright, revealing that he played football high as a bloody kite.
“It (was) the first time I’d ever seen them (drug testers) and I panicked inside – I’ve been smoking cannabis, less than 24 hours earlier, and if that test comes back positive that’s it. It is literally all over for me.
“I’m practically paralysed while trying to act unconcerned. What hit me the most is how much I would have been letting people from my area down.
“If I had got caught on that drugs test it would have been beyond them, they just wouldn’t have understood it: ‘What?! You got into Crystal Palace and you didn’t stop smoking weed?
“From that day to this I never smoked a spliff again.”
What do you make our Premier League’s most overrated players gallery?
A high-profile soccer player, who represented the Three Lions 33 times, admitting in the 21st century that back in the early 90s he blazed up, is no biggie, due to times changing and the views on smoking cannabis have softened.
But the fact of the matter is, if it wasn’t for Mark Bright and Phil Barber’s names being called – his Eagles teammates at the time – being called by the random drug testers, then we were close to looking at one of the biggest stories to ever rock the world of football.
Wright wouldn’t have gone on to become Arsenal’s then-record goalscorer, a fan favourite at Selhurst Park and a high-profile pundit with the BBC. So why is it okay he reveals now, some 25 years later, that he broke the law? Came close to bringing the game into disrepute?
It’s a weird one. We almost react like ‘fair play, Ian, lad; that’s quality, mate’ because society tells us that’s the ‘cool’ thing to think, nowadays. But why is no one calling Ian Wright what he really is, an absolute ass?
I bet I’d be viewed definitely by family, friends and work colleagues if I revealed I used to abuse my body with drugs – I didn’t – so why should Ian Wright be any different?