Wrighty on his Highbury corker
vs Everton, Premier League, 1993
Highbury’s North Bank was replaced by a mural in the early 1990s. When fans returned, it took only three matches for Ian Wright to give them a close-up view of something special.
He had already put Arsenal 1-0 up against Everton when David Seaman sent a long kick forward. With Kevin Campbell and Gary Ablett unable to get their head on it, Arsenal’s star striker latched on to the bouncing ball 25 yards out, right in front of the newly rebuilt stand.
“My first thought was just to retain possession, but as I flicked the ball over Matt Jackson I saw he’d committed himself too much one way,” Wrighty tells FFT. “I thought he’d struggle to turn again, so I flicked it back over him and by then I was in the penalty box. Neville Southall might have thought I was going to smash it, but the ball sat up nicely and I popped it over him.” It was a finish that even Southall was in awe of. “Neville was one of the great goalkeepers and for him to say nice things about my finish afterwards, I was quite pleased with that,” says Wright. “The best thing about that goal is that I’d never expected it. If you’re going through on goal, you think about what you’re going to do and hopefully do it – this was just pure instinctive stuff and it all happened very naturally. “The applause from the fans was a bit different, too: you could hear people murmuring when we kicked off again, because I think they thought they saw something special. When people talk to me nowadays, they’ll always mention that goal.”
Ian Wright forms part of the BBC’S football line-up. You can watch Match of the Day every Saturday evening on BBC One