ARSENAL legend Ian Wright had to leave ITV’s FA Cup coverage at half-time after being told his mum had died 30 seconds before going on air.
The England striker, 58, was covering Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle’s
second round clash on Saturday afternoon when he received the news.
The pundit and TV host was told that Nesta, who brought him up in
Brockley, south London, had passed away aged 94.
Ian had previously spoken about a difficult upbringing by his mum and an abusive stepfather – but revealed in his hard-hitting BBC documentary Home Truths that he had made peace with his mother.
A friend said: “Ian would be the first to admit he had a difficult relationship with his mum, but hearing your own flesh and blood has passed away is never easy. It’s upsetting news to hear for anyone.
“He was told just before he went back on air at half time, and wanted to be with his family, which ITV obviously totally understood.
“He left the ground immediately to be with them.”
Plymouth went on to beat Rochdale 2-1 to advance through to the third
round of the FA Cup.
Ian was said to be in a buoyant mood not only on camera but also with
members of the crowd as he interacted with them ahead of the 12:15pm
Less than one hour before he heard the news, Wright posted a picture
of himself at the match on Twitter.
He had posed for a picture of himself with a fan who shared the same
name as him, with the caption: “Just met another Ian Wright”.
Presenter Mark Pougatch said during the interval: "Ian, I'm afraid is
not [with us at half-time]. A family bereavement, so he has gone to
where he is most needed – with his family."
A spokeswoman for Ian confirmed that it was his mother who had passed away.
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