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Alan Geoffrey Wright (born 28 September 1971 in Ashton-under-Lynemarker) is an Englishmarker professional footballer who is currently playing for Fleetwood Town.

He has played over 620 league and cup games for eight clubs, including an eight year spell for Aston Villa. He has also played for Blackburn Roversmarker, Blackpool, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United plus he has had loan spells at Derby County, Leeds United, Cardiff City, Doncaster Rovers and Nottingham Forest

His position is left back, and he is famous for being the shortest player in Premier League history standing at only 5 feet 4 inches tall - once straining his knee trying to reach the accelerator of his new Ferrarimarker.

Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers

Wright began his career as a trainee at Blackpool, for whom he made 98 league appearances between April 1989 and October 1991. The new Blackburn Rovers manager Kenny Dalglish noticed Wright, and brought him to Ewood Parkmarker for £400,000, breaking Blackpool's transfer record. He spent four years at Ewood park, but thanks to the arrival of England left back Graeme Le Saux, made only 67 appearances, seven as a substitute. He was, however, part of the Blackburn squad that won the Premier League in the 1994-95 season.

Aston Villa

Wright was signed from Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £1,000,000 in the summer of 1995, brought to the club by then Villa manager Brian Little. Wright made an immediate impact, appearing in the team for their opening day home victory over Manchester United.

His first goal for Aston Villa came later that season against Middlesbrough, opening the scoring in a two goal victory on New Years Day 1996, in which Wright was also in a defence that kept a clean sheet. Wright scored one other goal that season, rounding off the scoring in a 3-0 home defeat of Leeds United. Wright was also part of the Aston Villa 1996 League Cup winning side, beating Leeds once again, this time at Wembleymarker.

In the 1996-97 season, Wright scored only once, this time against Wimbledon, scoring the second in a 2-0 win. Despite playing in the majority of the fixtures in the 1997-98 season, Wright failed to find the net. He appeared in the Aston Villa side that lost the 2000 FA Cup Final to Chelsea.

With the emergence of the younger J Lloyd Samuel from the Villa academy, he transferred to Middlesbrough for free in August 2003.

To date, Wright is currently in third place in Aston Villa's European appearances list, having made 26 appearances between September 1996 (a draw with Helsingborgs IF) and July 2002 (a 2-0 loss to FC Zürich), behind Gordon Cowans and Dennis Mortimer on 29.

Sheffield United

Wright appeared only twice for Middlesbrough, one a 4-0 reverse at home to Arsenal, before being loaned out to Championship side Sheffield United on 31 October 2003, signing for them permanently on 12 January 2004. He scored his first goal for United in a 2-1 loss against Nottingham Forest on 3 April 2004.

Playing in the Championship, Wright continued his impressive disciplinary record (never sent off to date) and was also part of the Sheffield United side that upset Aston Villa 3-1 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup in the 2004-05 season.

Wright made a couple of appearances for United at the start of the 2006-07 season, the last against Arsenal on 23 September 2006. Since then he has been out on loan playing 1 game with Leeds United and seven games for Cardiff City. On 16 February 2007 he joined Doncaster Rovers on a month's loan scoring four headed goals,

Wright joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the 2006-07 season in March 2007, where he linked up with former Aston Villa team mate Colin Calderwood, ostensibly as cover for the suspended Julian Bennett. Wright extended his loan with Nottingham Forest in May 2007 and played in the League One play-off semi-final against Yeovil Town, in which he scored an own goal. He was released by Sheffield United in May 2007.

Cheltenham Town

In July 2007, Wright was offered a trial by Oldham Athletic but eventually joined Cheltenham Town on non-contract basis on 8 October 2007. He subsequently signed a contract until the end of the 2007-08 season. He scored his first goal for Cheltenham in a 2-2 draw with Crewe Alexandra on 27 October 2007.

On his return to the City Groundmarker on 5 April, 2008, playing for Cheltenham, Wright was given a standing ovation by all four stands when substituted, where the fans commonly knew him as the Big Man.

Fleetwood Town

In July 2009, Wright signed for Conference North outfit Fleetwood Town.

Blackpool F.C. Hall of Fame

Wright was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Bloomfield Road, when it was officially opened by former Blackpool player Jimmy Armfield in April 2006. Organised by the Blackpool Supporters Association, Blackpool fans around the world voted on their all-time heroes. Five players from each decade are inducted; Wrightt is in the 1980s.



Blackburn Rovers

Aston Villa


  1. Wright joined Fleetwood

Further reading

External links

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