Ian Wright had to abandon ITV FA Cup coverage during half-time, 30 seconds prior to going live after learning of his mother’s death at 94.

  • Pundit, 58 was covering Rochdale’s and Plymouth Argyle’s second round clash 
  • Nesta, the woman who raised him in Brockley, south London died at the age of94
  • Just moments before he returned to half-time, he heard of her passing.  

Arsenal legend Ian Wright had no choice but to abandon ITV’s FA Cup coverage after being told that his mother had just died.

He was covering the second round of Rochdale vs Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, when he got the shocking news.

Nesta, his mother, died at the age of 94. 

Wright has previously spoken about his difficult upbringing by his mother and abusive stepfather, but revealed in BBC documentary Home Truths that he had since made peace with her.   

Ian Wright, 58, (middle) was covering Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle's second round clash on Saturday when he received the devastating news his mother Nesta (left) had died. They are pictured in 2002 while Wright was receiving his MBE. On the right is his then wife Debbie

 Ian Wright, 58, (middle) was covering Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle’s second round clash on Saturday when he received the devastating news his mother Nesta (left) had died. The couple were pictured together in 2002 as Wright received his MBE. Debbie, his wife at the time, is on the right.             

A friend told The Sun: ‘Ian would be the first to admit he had a difficult relationship with his mum, but hearing your own flesh and blood has passed away is never easy. This is a devastating news for everyone.

He was advised that just before returning to the air at halftime, he would be alone with his family. ITV evidently fully understood.

“He left the ground to be with them immediately.”

Mark Pougatch, a fellow presenter, announced that Wright was forced to give up his duties as a presenter after learning about the death of his relative.

Before the match, he had been introduced to a Rochdale fan also called Ian Wright. 

“Mr Ian Wright is taking lots of selfies, but this photo was quite different. You were talking to Ian Wright! said Pougatch.

Wright said, “I’ve always wanted to see him” It’s been 31 years since he was called that! 

They named him twice because he was so good! Pougatch added.   

Wright, seen Saturday), has spoken previously about the difficult childhood he experienced from his abusive stepfather and mother. However, he revealed to BBC’s Home Truths in a BBC documentary that he now feels at peace with his mom. 

In an interview to promote his hard-hitting documentary, Home Truths, Wright told how he suffered ‘Guantanamo-style’ abuse at the hands of his violent stepfather – who made him face the wall whenever his beloved Match Of The Day came on TV.

He would go on to overcome deprivation and an abusive home life to become a professional footballer.

Wright spent time in prison for driving violations. Before being signed by Crystal Palace and Arsenal, he was sentenced to a year.

He scored more than 200 goals in top flight, won 33 England titles and was a national hero scoring nine goals.

Wright retired in 2000 from the game and would pursue a career for TalkSport, ITV and BBC as a hard-talking journalist. He also made an unforgettable appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Wright received an MBE in 2002 to recognize his contributions to football. Wright is now a frequent pundit for Match of the Day.

Wright as a young boy. He went on to become an Arsenal and England legend, before beginning a successful career as a pundit

Wright, as a child. After becoming an Arsenal and England legend, Wright began a career as a pundit.