Fans think the BBC did Ian Wright dirty after an old clip of him on punditry duty resurfaced on social media this week.
The Arsenal legend has been analysing England games for the best part of 20 years, but was left high and dry (or perhaps that should be low and dry – haw haw) during one of his very first outings in front of the cameras in 2002. He was joined in the studio at St Mary's Stadium by Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen and Peter Reid as England took on Macedonia in a Euro 2004 qualifier, and fans couldn't help but notice how tiny he looked.
Sure, Wright has never been the tallest. But the top of his head barely reached Hansen's collar bones in the footage – convincing fans he must have been stuck in a kiddies' chair.
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"Has Ian Wright always been this small?" One fan asked on X (formerly Twitter). Another joked: "Ian Wright's growth spurt didn't happen until his 40s I see."
A third quipped: "Good to see an 11yo Ian Wright doing his punditry work experience," while a fourth added: "The real takeout of this is Ian Wright apparently sitting on a child's stool."
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The panel were discussing David Seaman's suspect performance in what would be the final England game of his career. England were held to a 2-2 draw by Macedonia, initially going behind after Artim Sakiri scored directly from a corner, with his cross looping over Seaman in an eerily-similar manner to which Ronaldinho's infamous free-kick at the 2002 World Cup did a few months prior.
Wright, who scored over 300 career goals, turned to punditry after shortly after hanging up his boots at the turn of the Millennium. He became a semi-regular guest on Match of the Day in 2002, but left the show in 2008 after criticising the programme for using him for comic relief, rather than analysis.
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He later worked for ITV, where he resumed coverage of England matches, and BT Sport before returning to the Beeb in 2017. Ever since he's been a near ever-present guest alongside the likes of Lineker, Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy.
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