Football: 'MORON FANS CALLED WRIGHTY A BLACK B******, MY FACE WAS RED WITH SHAME'

Article excerpt

Byline: Stan TERNENT: By TONY LIVESEY Adapted by ANDY DUNN

IAN Wright-Wright-Wright Esquire, MBE. A fully-minted football legend.

I'd played a major role in furthering his career during my time at Crystal Palace and the man I knew as Satchmo had stayed in touch.

During an emotional phone call, at a stage when he was getting abuse from neanderthals in the crowd after his move to Celtic, I offered him an opportunity to play for Burnley merely to divert the conversation and cheer him up. Except he didn't laugh. He actually signed.

The town went potty.

For his second game, we arrived at Colchester at the arse-end of a knackering 300-mile bus trip but Wrighty was fresh after driving himself over from his house in London.

Typically, he was buzzing. Whether running out for Arsenal at Wembley or for us in an Essex fleapit, with his jokes and gold-toothed smile, he gave the impression it didn't matter a damn.

We won 2-1. The play-offs were still on. Automatic promotion even. But I no longer gave a monkey's toss. The game had been a disaster. Throughout each of the previous 90 minutes, the Colchester crowd hurled at Wrighty the foulest racist abuse I'd ever heard at a football match.

My face was red with shame as I stood on the touchline, powerless to stop the narrow-minded scum chanting sick songs at one of England's greatest players.

The pride I'd felt for Ian as he had run out on to the pitch in Burnley colours rapidly became embarrassment.

I'd persuaded him to play in a league where I believed he would be afforded dignity and respect.

Yet all those dickheads at Colchester had to offer was jealousy, bile and bitter insults based on his skin colour. It was b*****ks.

The ignorant b******s had had the chance to watch one of the most talented players our country has ever produced, yet they chose to barrack him instead.

I was devastated."Listen, Satch," I told him. …