Ian Wright talking about his teacher on Desert Island Discs will have you in floods of tears

Ian Wright talking about his teacher on Desert Island Discs will have you in floods of tears

Ian Wright’s appearance on Desert Island discs over the weekend has gone viral after the moving discussion about the teacher who changed his life.

The Arsenal legend and recent I’m a Celebrity… contestant spoke movingly about his inspiration, Sydney Pigden, a teacher who passed away in 2017 at the age of 95. Wright’s autobiography was dedicated to the man he felt had a more profound influence on his life than any other.

In 2019 Wright unveiled a plaque at his old school in honour of his teacher. It simply read:

In Recognition of Sydney Charles Pigden for his dedicated service to the Lewisham community: WW2 Spitfire pilot, Teacher at Turnham School, Secretary Lewisham Primary Schools Football Association & Sports Coach and Mentor.

In one of the most beautiful moments ever captured on camera, Wright was seen being reacquainted with his idol while making a documentary at Highbury in 2010.

Upon hearing the words, “Hello Ian”, Wright is seen instinctively removing his hat as a mark of respect and admits he thought his teacher has passed away years earlier before being reduced to tears.

Now, in conversation with Lauren Laverne on Radio 4, the football icon has said more about Mr. Pigden and that viral video.

He said how proud he is of me. And then I hugged him and because he was 3 or 4 steps up, I felt like I was 7 again. I remember him saying, because he was one of the youngest pilots in World War Two and when we won the war, he was one of the pilots chosen to do the flyover of Buckingham Palace. I remember him saying he was more proud of the fact that I played for England than him flying over Buckingham Palace. Love that man.

At that point, Wright bursts into tears, just as almost anyone listening is liable to. Laverne in her role as interviewer speaks for us all when she replies simply, “Oh, Ian”.

The clip that Radio 4 has shared has since been viewed more than 2 million times on Twitter and people have been moved by Wright's moving story of his former teacher.

Wright has since thanked everyone for their kind messages.

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