Billy Wright

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Billy Wright
Billy Wright (1961) .jpg
Surname William Ambrose Wright
birthday February 6, 1924
place of birth Ironbridge , ShropshireEngland
date of death 3rd September 1994
Place of death Barnet , LondonEngland
position Outrunner
Years station Games (goals) 1
1939-1959 Wolverhampton Wanderers 490 (13)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1946-1959 England 105 0(3)
Stations as a trainer
Years station
1962-1966 Arsenal FC
1 Only league games are given.
Billy Wright statue in front of Wolverhampton Wanderers Stadium

Billy Wright , actually William Ambrose Wright , CBE (born February 6, 1924 in Ironbridge / Shropshire , † September 3, 1994 in Barnet ), was an English football player and coach.

Career in the club

Even as a young boy, Wright stood out for his innate football talent. However, due to his slender constitution, he was completely drained after every game. After finishing school, he moved from Staffordshire to Wolverhampton Wanderers , where he wore the professional team jersey at the age of just 15. However, it was not until 1941 that the blond boy signed a contract as a professional. In his early years as a professional, Wright played in the position of outside runner or half- forward . Thanks to his tremendous bounce, he made a name for himself as an excellent header player. However, since Wolverhampton had to interrupt play due to the war , he played as a guest at Leicester City , but returned to the Wolves in 1942 and was called up in 1943 as a sports teacher for the Army. Soon after the war ended, the Wanderers made him their team captain (1947).

With this club, to which he remained loyal to his entire career, Wright was English Cup winner in 1949 (in the final against Leicester City of all places) and three times English champions ( seasons 1953/54 , 1957/58 and 1958/59 ). He played a total of 541 competitive games for Wolverhampton (490 league, 48 cup, 2 European cup games (the two 2-2 and 1-2 final round of 16 games against FC Schalke 04 )), in which Wright played predominantly defensively - but always with fair ones Means: He did not receive a single warning and was never sent off, not even in his 105 international matches. In the club he also scored 16 hits. In 1952, Wright was named " Player of the Year " by British sports journalists and in 1957 he came second in the European Footballer of the Year election . After the third championship in 1959, Elizabeth II named Wright Commander of the British Empire .

National team

Billy Wright played a total of 105 international matches for the English national team between September 1946 and May 1959 , 90 of which as team captain and 70 in uninterrupted succession, and also scored three goals. His national coach during this time was always Walter Winterbottom , his best-known team-mate was certainly Stanley Matthews . Wright was the first footballer ever to make 100 internationals and was the long-standing worldwide record holder with a total of 105 internationals . He took part in three World Cup finals, where the national team did not achieve any notable successes: At the 1950 World Cup , England's selection in the preliminary round sensationally failed against the US selection . Even so, Wright was ranked among the best players of the tournament by many English journalists in his position. At the 1954 World Cup , England's selection was eliminated in the quarter-finals against Uruguay , and at the 1958 World Cup , the English team lost the play-off of their preliminary group against the USSR . Wright was in all World Cup qualifiers - in 1950 and 1954 in three games against Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland; 1958 in four games against Ireland and Denmark - as well as in the respective World Cup tournament games - 1950 against Chile, USA, Spain; 1954 against Belgium, Switzerland, Uruguay; 1958 against the Soviet Union (2 games), Brazil, Austria - in action for England.

Life after football

After winning the third title in the 1958/59 season , Billy Wright ended his active career and was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in the same year . But he could not leave football entirely: In 1962, Wright became a manager - not at "his" Wolves, but at Arsenal FC , the favorite club of his childhood. In this new role, however, he was nowhere near as successful as as a player, won no title and was fired in 1966. Later he worked for the TV station ATV.

Billy Wright was married to Joy Beverley of the Beverley Sisters , an English vocal trio popular at the time. He died of complications from cancer. Next to the Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton , his admirers have erected a life-size monument to him and a grandstand is named after him in the stadium. In 2002, Wright was among the first players to be inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame .

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