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Ian Wright fights back tears as he signs off on final Match of the Day appearance

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Ian Wright shed tears as he signed off from Match of the Day on his final appearance on the iconic BBC football highlights show.

Wright, who first appeared on the show 27 years ago, announced in December that this would be his last season on Match of the Day, saying: “Ultimately, it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays.”

The former Crystal Palace, Arsenal and England striker has become one of the most popular pundits on television for his raw emotion and good humour, combined with a deep knowledge of the game and of goalscoring.

“I am going to miss you guys, I really am,” he told host Gary Lineker and lead pundit Alan Shearer, following the final day of the season on Sunday. “Match of the Day means the whole world to me.”

Shearer held Wright’s hand and Lineker added: “It’s been an absolute delight and a pleasure to work with you for so long and you are a breath of fresh air. You always have been.”

Wright said earlier this season: “After my debut show whilst still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season. I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world.

“Anyone that knows my story knows how much the show has meant to me since I was a young boy. MOTD is my Holy Grail. On my first ever show, I told [presenter] Des Lynam, ‘This is my Graceland’. It will always be my Graceland and I will always be watching.”

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