Ian Wright Becomes Arsenal’s Record Goalscorer On This Day, 13th September 1997

Oh, come on. What else were you expecting? The wait was over, his time had come eventually. Ian Wright finally overhauled Cliff Bastin’s 178 record, even managing to prematurely celerbrate, revealing his 179 vest on scoring 178 goals. Whatever you may think of Wright the pundit, Ian Wright could do little wrong in front of goal in an Arsenal shirt.

It felt like it had been a long time in coming for us so goodness knows how Wright felt. The reality was that it was only three games we had to wait following a brace against Coventry City in August. Southampton and Leicester City fell prey to Dennis Bergkamp, the Dutchman scoring five in two games including the hat-trick to end all hat-tricks at Filbert Street. Tottenham somehow kept Wright at bay, relying on the woodwork as well as uncharacteristically nervous finishing from the player himself. An international break then made it feel like a lifetime.

The sun shone and the inevitable happened, the main man was once more centre stage finishing the afternoon off with a hat-trick, the record breaking goal so close to the line that there was barely time for his foot to connect with the ball before it entered the net.

Wright’s average of a goal every 1.56 games is only bettered by Ted Drake (in the list of top ten scorers for Arsenal). Not bad for a man who was derided in some quarters as too old when George Graham paid £2.5m in 1991.

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