Ian Wright to step down as Match of the Day pundit: ‘It’s time to do a few different things with my Saturdays’

17 DECEMBER 2023
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Ian Wright will step down as a pundit from Match of the Day at the end of the season.

The Arsenal legend said the decision “had been coming for a while” and was “fast-tracked” by turning 60 last month.

Wright said: “Ultimately, it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays.”

Wright made his debut on Match of the Day as a player in 1997 and has had two spells as a regular pundit, first from 2002 to 2008 and then since he returned in 2015.


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,” he said.

I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world.

Anyone that knows my story knows how much the show has meant to me since I was a young boy. MOTD is my Holy Grail. On my first ever show, I told [presenter] Des Lynam, ‘This is my Graceland’. It will always be my Graceland and I will always be watching.

“I’m stepping back having made great friends and many great memories. I’m really looking forward to my last months on the show and covering what will hopefully be an amazing title race.

Since retiring as a player in 2000, Wright has become one of television’s best-known pundits, covering both the men’s and women’s game for the BBC and ITV.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said: “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work alongside you, Ian. One of my favourite people on the planet. Farewell my friend.”

Head of BBC Sport content Philip Bernie said: “Ian has been a wonderful star player on MOTD since his first appearance over 20 years ago. His insight, wit and warmth have richly entertained and informed all those watching him.

We will miss his unique style and presence when he goes at the end of this season, but we will be sure to give him the send-off he deserves.

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