Former Hoops striker Ian Wright declares his love for Celtic

By David Walton

March 15, 2020

Former Celtic striker Ian Wright has been talking up his love for the club despite a fruitless spell in Glasgow back in 1999.

Wright only spent several months at Parkhead where he managed just 10 appearances and three goals (Celtic Wiki). He was to replace Henrik Larsson who had picked up a horror injury with John Barnes desperately needing a goalscorer.

Nothing about the former Arsenal striker’s time in Glasgow was deemed enjoyable. In truth, it will always be defined by that infamous night against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup, when Celtic bowed out with a permanently embarrassing 3-1 home defeat.

Former Celtic striker Ian Wright (Ian Yates/Photoshot/Getty Images)

Yet even despite the shocking time Wright had at Parkhead, he told Classic Football Shirts of how much he still loves the club to this day.

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“You know something? I love Celtic, simply because of Kenny Dalglish, Danny McGrain and all that lot when I was younger. To go there for the little time when John Barnes was manager – and it was a nightmare for him – I can’t think of anything but happy times at Celtic.

“Apart from the fact you didn’t know who you were bumping into when you were walking down the road which could be a nightmare. But when you met Celtic fans, as long as you wore this shirt, you were loved man. I’ve never seen love like it.

“I remember going to lunch with Henrik Larsson. It was literally like walking along the road with Elvis Presley.”

Classy words from Wright

Wright’s time at Celtic didn’t really benefit anyone, but these are classy words from the former Arsenal, West Ham, and Burnley forward.

The problem with Wright’s time at Parkhead was that he simply arrived too late. After spending his prime at Arsenal, he had lost the majority of his ability by the time he came up to Scotland.

He also simply didn’t come up at a good time either. Considering things were collapsing all around Barnes, it wasn’t really the environment for a player like Wright with his age, decreasing quality, and lack of fitness to thrive in.

Arsenal great Ian Wright (David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

However, it’s still positive to hear him come out with these words about his time at Parkhead. It’s clear he still holds some affection for the club. Even if not many fans will remember his own time in Glasgow warmly, he deserves some credit for talking it up.

You do wonder how the Arsenal icon would’ve gotten on at Parkhead had he arrived just a couple of years earlier. Leaving Scotland with only three goals to his name would’ve been unthinkable if he wasn’t in the twilight years of his career.

In any case, it’s good to see that he doesn’t hold much bitterness personally regarding his time here.

What did you make of Wright’s time in Glasgow? What made his spell a disaster? Could he have made a difference if he’d arrived earlier? Give us your thoughts in the discussion forum below.