Today's Friday Certificate goes to....... Ian Wright!
He was brought up by his mother who came to London from Jamaica. He had a difficult childhood as he did not get on with his stepfather. He also found it hard to concentrate at school and was well below average in his learning. He was the sort of child who had to keep moving and found it hard to sit down. Fortunately, he had a teacher, Mr. Pigden, who saw him struggle and found ways to keep him busy in school doing jobs for him. He honoured this teacher as "the first positive male figure that I had in my life". He later unveiled a plaque to him in his old primary school.
Although he had several trials for football teams whilst he was a teenager, he did not get a contract. Instead he played for amateur teams where at the age of 21 he was spotted and signed with Crystal Palace. He quickly made his mark in his first season, scoring nine goals to finish as Palace's second-highest scorer. He also started to play for England.
In 1991 he was signed by Arsenal for a then record £2.5million.
He retired from football in 2000 at the age of 37 after a long and distinguished international career and has been a football commentator and media personality ever since.
I am awarding this certificate to him in recognition of his modesty and humility. He is one of the highest goal scorers in FA history and yet in a recent Top Ten strikers list, he refused his position, saying that other people deserved it more.
The following link will take you to a radio programme called Desert Island Discs where he talks about his life. It’s well worth a listen: