When Ian Wright’s reunion with his teacher left him in tears

4 Min Read
Ian Wright

Ian Wight met with his teacher in an empty stadium which left the former Arsenal star in tears.

Ian Wright is well-known for his remarkable football career, especially during his tenure at Arsenal FC. He became known as one of the Premier League’s top forwards during his playing career. The towering attacker left a lasting impression with his quick reflexes and unwavering determination.

The former football player is shown crying in a 2005 throwback video after seeing his favourite teacher, whom he had assumed had passed away.

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Wright was reunited with Sydney Pigden, his elementary school teacher while filming “Real Life,” an ITV 4 documentary, at the club’s Highbury Stadium. Wright went to Brockley Primary School in South London.

Ian is seen strolling around the stadium in this BBC-uploaded video when he pauses to look around, his face showing amazement. Next, Wright’s old instructor Sydney Pigden is seen on screen. He appears utterly startled and incredulous at first, but gradually his expression changes to one of satisfaction.

Wright removes his cap out of pure admiration and tells Pigden, “You’re alive!” while shaking his hand. Next, the legendary player for Arsenal puts his cap over his face and sobs like a “5-year-old” because he never imagined he would see his teacher again. “Uncontrollable crying because of how happy I was to see him,” he recalled in a We Hussle exclusive.

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Pigden was more than just a teacher to Wright. He still talks about how much of an impact he had on his professional career and considers him as his support system. Pigden, who tragically passed away in 2018 at the age of 95, was the subject of Wright’s 2016 autobiography, “A Life in Football”.

“He had a massive impact on me,” Wright said in an interview with The42. “He was a guiding light, all the way through my career, as people saw in the video when I was reunited with him. I dedicated my book to him and I think that was the least I could do for somebody that literally turned my life around, in respect to teaching me how to be a decent human being.” 

Pigden’s amazing support for Wright

Growing up in an unstable household, Wright had a difficult childhood. Pigden made sure Wright pursued his goals in life, including his sporting career, even in hard circumstances.

In the first few moments of his documentary, Wright mentions his teacher and how important a part he played in his career. The legendary player for Arsenal found it difficult to control his emotions when discussing Pigden.

Ian Wright
Ian Wright

After a stellar career that saw him score 185 goals for Arsenal and rank among the Gunners’ all-time top scorers, Wright announced his retirement from the game in 2000.

The legendary Arsenal player gained recognition after hanging up his boots by frequently appearing as a pundit on football analysis shows for networks including BBC, BT Sport, ITV, and Sky Sports.

By Shyam
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Shyam Sharma who joined SPORTS BIG NEWS in 2021. Focuses on soccer – chiefly the Premier League, LaLiga, UEFA Champions League, Liga MX and MLS. On occasion, also covers American sports, general news and entertainment. Fascinated by the language of sport – particularly the under-appreciated art of translating cliché-speak.