We all love a feel-good story and one of the very best examples involves Ian Wright.
The Arsenal legend, who netted an incredible 185 goals in 288 games for the club, was being filmed at Arsenal’s Highbury stadium. And there was a huge surprise in-store when Wright was reunited with Syd Pidgen, a teacher at the primary school Wright attended in south East London.
Wright, Arsenal’s talisman at the time, had not seen Mr Pidgen for about “23, 24 years” and speaking before the surprise, the teacher said he expected Wright to be of the opinion that his former tutor had passed away.
At first his facial expression was one of complete shock and disbelief, before his face lit up. He immediately took off his flat cap and uttered the words “You’re alive!” as he shook his former teacher’s hand. So much respect.
The former Crystal Palace striker was visibly emotional, shedding a few tears after seeing someone who was one of the first people to guide him in his quest to become a professional footballer.
Speaking in an interview following on from the moment, Wright said Mr Pidgen was “so supportive all the time” and that he was “kind of like his special guy”.
The 54-year old was a late bloomer in footballing terms, playing at Sunday League and semi-pro level before eventually signing his first professional contract with Palace just before his 22nd birthday
Wright, who had stints with West Ham United, Celtic and Burnley in the latter stages of his career before retiring, has become a familiar face/voice on our TV screens and radios, notably providing punditry for the likes of BBC, BT Sport, ITV and Sky Sports.
During the World Cup, he also featured for Fox Sport’s coverage and provided a memorable moment when he left early to get on the beers in celebrating getting to the semi-finals.
What a geezer.