In a statement released today, Ipswich Town have confirmed that 36-year old former England midfielder Richard Wright needs a liver transplant. The news comes after the player started feeling unwell and was rushed to hospital by his wife. Doctors found out he had developed an aggressive form of cancer which required immediate treatment or could kill him within six months. Fortunately, because Mr Wright is otherwise in good health, doctors were able to find a donor match for him right away and he has begun the process of recovering from chemotherapy treatments.
I want to thank Ipswich Town FC for their support over the past few days, said Mr Wright, It really does show that football clubs are like big families. I would also like to say a special thanks to my wife and kids who have been amazing throughout this ordeal. But we’ve got a long road ahead of us and I cannot wait to get back out there as soon as I’m fit and able.
Mr Wright is married with two children, a boy and a girl. He began his career at Ipswich Town in 1993 where he spent eight years. During this time he made over 300 appearances and helped the team win promotion twice and reach the FA Cup and UEFA Cup semi-finals. He then moved to Arsenal, where he played under Arsene Wenger for 7 years until his retirement in 2012. It was during this time that he received his first call up to the England squad but he did not make an appearance until 2003 when he started a friendly against Serbia and Montenegro. Unfortunately, Mr Wright came off injured in the 10th minute and was never called up again. He is currently Ipswich’s record appearance holder and held their record for most league clean sheets until last year when he was surpassed by Bartosz Bialkowski.
Mr Wright has stated that he is looking to return to playing football but understands it may be a while before he is ready. We will be keeping a close eye on Mr Wright’s recovery and wish him the best of luck in his fight against cancer.
In other news, the Local Authority have launched a review into the healthcare provided for football players after it emerged that Mr Wright had been suffering from cancer for a number of months before he was sent to hospital. They are also going to be investigating how Ipswich Town FC became aware of Mr Wright’s illness and what actions they took once they were aware.
Ipswich Town spokesperson Eric Freestone had this to say, We are doing everything we can to support Richard and his family during this difficult time. We will also assist the Local Authority with their investigation in any way we can.
The Premier League have declined to comment on whether or not they were aware of Mr Wright’s illness and whether or not it would have been detected had he been playing one of their games.
When asked, a spokesperson for the Local Authority replied, We are currently in talks with the Premier League about having regular health checks on professional football players. The issue is that while some clubs have measures in place to check up on their players, others don’t. It has already been established that not all clubs are using the same medical criteria for their players and this could lead to an epidemic if left unchecked.
And just like that, cricket was back. The first real match of the season had come round so quickly it had been a shock to the system.
But, for me, it was worse than that. There was nothing worse than being at a cricket match and not being able to play. I’d dropped out of the first team – no surprise there – but making myself completely unavailable for games even if I wasn’t selected had been a tough few