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10th Nov 2023

Ian Wright explains how tackle on Irish player ended with him ‘kicking referee’s door in’

Lee Costello

Ian Wright

“I felt so wronged that I lost all emotion.”

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has revealed that he ended up ‘kicking the referees door in’ following a tackle on Irishman Ian Harte back in 1999.

Wright was playing for West Ham at the time, and during their game against Leeds, Wright received red card for a collision with Harte, something which he felt so aggrieved by the decision that his rage got the better of him.

He explained the full story on the Stick to Football podcast: “I got sent-off against Leeds for West Ham. It was Ian Harte, I didn’t catch him with the challenge, I know I didn’t catch him but he went over and was rolling.

Ian Wright explains how tackle on Irish player ended with him ‘kicking referee’s door in’

“It was one of those when you see someone see the red card and they look surprised.

“I felt so wronged that I lost all emotion. I lost all my composure and I started effing and blinding with him then I did the thing that you just don’t do – chasing the ref to try and talk to the ref.

“I had two or three players stopping me, so because I couldn’t get to him, I’m walking off and you’d think that was it but then I kicked the referee’s door in and smashed the room to bits. That was the emotion.”

Ian Wright details how he “smashed referee’s room to bits.”

Inevitably, the Englishman was never going to get away with doing something like that without receiving further punishment, and given the extent of damage that he done, it’s no surprise.

“I felt so wronged by the situation,” said Wright. “The only thing I remember is coming back out after smashing the room to bits.

“I kicked the door in and you’d think that would have been it. But I went in, threw all their gear in the bath, threw the television against the wall and then, as I walked out, David Elleray was coming the other way.

“I didn’t even take my kit off – I just took my gear off the peg and drove home. Then Harry Redknapp called me and said: “What the effing hell has gone on?”

“I think I got fined about £18,000 for that.”

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