“There was a time at Everton when I was going into games thinking ‘please don’t make a mistake today’. And nine times out of 10, it felt like I had made a mistake. I was playing with fear. I didn’t even want to play in the reserves.” – Richard Wright
Some mothers do ‘ave ’em. Turns out, so do some football teams.
A £2m signing from Ipswich Town, Arsenal initially regarded him as a successor to David Seaman. As his weaknesses came to the fore though, he failed to dislodge Seaman and was sold to us for £3.5m.
On his England debut under Kevin Keegan, Wright gave away two penalties to Malta, one of them bouncing in off his head.
On his Everton debut against Spurs, he gifted Les Ferdinand a goal. Tottenham’s website describes the goal as going through Richard Wright.
In a cup game at Stamford Bridge he injured himself by falling on a sign asking players not to practice in the goal.
Oh, and he once fell out of a loft too, injuring his shoulder. Of this event Richard said, “I’m not superstitious but the accident was on Friday the 13th and I am going to be careful now what I do on certain dates. I wasn’t doing any DIY, I had just come back from holiday and I was sorting my suitcases out and I fell off the ladder and landed on my shoulder.”
A serious knee injury lost him his place to Nigel Martyn, and then Tim Howard came, and then Richard Wright left for West Ham.
Bad luck, nerves, gaffes, pratfalls, and injuries masked what talent he had during his five years at Everton.
Premier League: Saturday 11 March (15:00); West Bromwich Albion at Goodison
Saturday 18 March (15:00); Hull City at Goodison