Alan Wright

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Alan Wright
Wright, Alan.jpg
Wright in 2000
Personal information
Full name Alan Geoffrey Wright
Date of birth (1971-09-28) 28 September 1971 (age 48)
Place of birth Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Playing position(s) Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 Blackpool 98 (0)
1991–1995 Blackburn Rovers 74 (1)
1995–2003 Aston Villa 260 (5)
2003–2004 Middlesbrough 2 (0)
2003–2004Sheffield United (loan) 9 (0)
2004–2007 Sheffield United 33 (1)
2006Derby County (loan) 7 (0)
2006Leeds United (loan) 1 (0)
2006–2007Cardiff City (loan) 7 (0)
2007Doncaster Rovers (loan) 3 (0)
2007Nottingham Forest (loan) 9 (0)
2007–2009 Cheltenham Town 56 (1)
2009–2011 Fleetwood Town 55 (2)
Total 614 (10)
National team
1992 England U21 2 (0)
Teams managed
2012 Northwich Victoria
2013 Southport
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alan Geoffrey Wright (born 28 September 1971) is an English former professional footballer and more recently manager of Southport after spells coaching at Blackpool and Northwich Victoria.

He has played over 750 league and cup games for eight clubs, including an eight-year spell for Aston Villa. He has also played for Blackburn Rovers, 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 was left back, and he is known for being one of the shortest players in Premier League history standing at only 5 feet 4 inches tall hence his popular nickname 'the mighty atom'.[1][2]

Playing career[edit]

Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Wright was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. He 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 Park as his first signing for £500,000, making him Blackpool's most expensive sale as well as the most expensive sale by any Fourth Division club.[citation needed]

He spent four years at Ewood Park, but, after the arrival of England left back Graeme Le Saux, made only 67 appearances, seven as a substitute. He left Blackburn just before they won the Premier League title in the 1994–95 season.[3]

Aston Villa[edit]

Wright was signed from Blackburn Rovers for a fee of £1,000,000 in February 1995, brought to the club by then Villa manager Brian Little. Wright made an immediate impact.

His first goal for Aston Villa came later nearly a year after his arrival when he found the net against Middlesbrough, opening the scoring in a two-goal victory on New Year's 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 again, this time at Wembley.

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[edit]

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.[4]

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 was sent 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.[citation needed]

Wright joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the 2006–07 season in March 2007,[5] where he linked up with former Aston Villa teammate 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.[6] He was released by Sheffield United in May 2007.

Cheltenham Town[edit]

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, requiring his own bath installed as part of the contract. He scored his first goal for Cheltenham in a 2–2 draw with Crewe Alexandra on 27 October 2007.[7]

Fleetwood Town[edit]

In July 2009, Wright signed for Conference North outfit Fleetwood Town.[8] During his first season for Fleetwood he played over 30 matches for the club including all 3 play-off matches to help the club win promotion to Conference National for the first time in their history. The club finished 2nd, 1 point behind winners Southport.[citation needed]

He was not offered a new contract at the end of the 2010–11 season and was released, along with a number of other players.[9]


Wright played for the England U21s twice in 1992. He was also called up to Terry Venables' England squad in January 1996[10] and April 1996,[11] but ultimately was never capped for the senior side.

Coaching career[edit]


In June 2011, Wright was named as a coach at Blackpool F.C.'s Centre of Excellence. He went on to become assistant manager during Steve Thompson's spell as caretaker manager in 2013.[12]

Northwich Victoria[edit]

Wright was appointed assistant manager to Paul Simpson at non-league Northwich Victoria in February 2012 and worked in this role alongside existing duties at Blackpool.[12][13][14] However, he departed after only a month to accept a job in Portugal.[15]

On 21 February 2012 against Rushall Olympic, Wright took control in Simpson's absence. Wright remained in his role as assistant manager to incoming manager Martin Foyle. At the end of the 2011–12 season Wright became the caretaker manager after Foyle's departure to Hereford United, leaving the role after Lee Ashcroft was given the job full-time.[citation needed]


On 15 May 2013, Wright was appointed Southport manager, succeeding Liam Watson who resigned to take over at Telford United.[1] He appointed John Hills as his assistant manager.[16] Wright's first signing for Southport was ex Barrow and Fleetwood Town goalkeeper Danny Hurst.[17]

Blackpool F.C. Hall of Fame[edit]

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.[18] Organised by the Blackpool Supporters' Association, Blackpool fans around the world voted on their all-time heroes. Five players from each decade are inducted; Wright is in the 1980s.[19]



Aston Villa


  1. ^ a b "Alan Wright: Southport name ex-Aston Villa defender as new boss". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  2. ^ Remember me? Alan Wright (Television Production). Premier League. Event occurs at 7:57 (1 minute). Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Boom and bust the Blackburn way". BBC News. 13 May 1999.
  4. ^ "Sheff Utd 1–2 Nottm Forest". 3 April 2004. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Forest bag Blades' Wright on loan". 16 March 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  6. ^ "Wright extends Forest loan deal". 8 May 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Cheltenham 2–2 Crewe". 27 October 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  8. ^ Wright joins Fleetwood Town F.C. Archived 27 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 1 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Town players not offered new contracts". Fleetwood Town FC. 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
  10. ^ "England bring Ince back into the fold". The Independent. 17 January 1996. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  11. ^ "England call-up Villa's Wright". The Independent. 19 April 1996. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  12. ^ a b "WRIGHT DELIGHT AT COACHING ROLE" Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine,, 24 June 2011.
  13. ^ Andy White. "Alan Wright Takes The Reins at Southport". The Non League Paper. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Paul Simpson named as new manager". Northwich Victoria Football Club. 1 February 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  15. ^ Andrew Simpson. "Northwich Victoria manager Paul Simpson set to step down after accepting new job offer". Northwich Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Alan Wright is the new Southport Manager". Southport F.C. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. I am bringing in John Hills as my number two.
  17. ^ "Barrow goalkeeper Danny Hurst joins Sandgrounders". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  18. ^ Singleton, Steve, ed. (2007). Legends: The great players of Blackpool FC (1 ed.). Blackpool: Blackpool Gazette. pp. 86–89. ISBN 978-1-84547-182-8.
  19. ^ "The Hall of Fame – 1980's". Blackpool Supporters Association. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 29 November 2009.

Further reading[edit]

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