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Mark Wright explains his love affair with football

Thursday 05 Jun 2014
Former TOWIE star Mark Wright is fully behind Reds v Blues
As the Reds v Blues weekend of football celebration approaches, Blues team captain Mark Wright has spoken about his love of the game and why football has always been such a huge part of his life.

Former TOWIE star Wright will be one of thousands of people getting outside on Saturday 7 June to enjoy playing the nation’s favourite game and it’s something he’s enjoyed from a very early age.

He said: “I first got into football from literally the moment I could stand up, in fact, my mum always tells me my first ever word was ‘ball’.

“My whole family love to play football and my dad was a professional player so there was always a ball around the house.

“I remember spending hours as a kid out in the garden playing with my friends, family or just kicking the ball around by myself.”

The FA is encouraging people to enjoy playing football in whatever form on 7 June – from organised matches through to kickabouts in the garden or local park. For Wright, the garden has always been a special place to play.

He added: “My earliest memories of playing the game are definitely those hours in the garden.

“Me and my brother [Josh] used to play every single day and I still take the credit for him becoming a professional player with Millwall.

“We used to play for hours together and because I’m the oldest, I used to win – it definitely toughened him up and made him the player he is today.”

From those early days, Wright went on to play at a professional level during his teenage years before joining the semi-pro ranks and playing for the likes of Bishop’s Stortford, Fisher Athletic and St. Neots Town and even making an appearance for the England C team.

For Wright, the banter and fitness has always been a key part of the playing the game.

“I realised I was a decent player from when I started playing for a Sunday League side.

“I was about six and was one of the best players in the team at the time and then at seven I got scouted by West Ham. From that day I played for professional clubs all through my childhood through to the early part of being a man.

“No matter the level or how old I was I’ve always enjoyed the banter when I play football, I enjoy the competitiveness, I enjoy the keeping fit – it’s a great way of keeping healthy and spending time with mates.

“There isn’t one aspect I like more than anything else, I just love getting the ball out and playing.”

As an Essex lad there was always going to be a certain footballing hero for Wright, but as a left-back the player he modelled his game on was perhaps more surprising.

“My hero growing up, and he’s still my hero today, has to be David Beckham.

“When it came to me as a player I used to like to think I played like Roberto Carlos, but my style wasn’t quite as entertaining as him.

“I actually modelled my game on Wayne Bridge – he was a great tough tackling left-back, just like me.”

For more details about the Reds v Blues day of football celebration, visit

By FA Staff