IAN WRIGHT has announced that he will be leaving his job as a Match of the Day pundit.
The Arsenal legend, 60, first appeared on the hit TV show while still playing back in 1997.
And he has been a regular on the programme alongside host Gary Lineker and fellow pundit Alan Shearer since hanging up his boots.
However, the ex-England striker has now revealed on social media that this will be his last season working on MOTD.
Wright broke the news on Sunday, posting a statement that read: “After my debut show whilst still a player in 1997 and many more memorable years, I’ll be stepping back from BBC MOTD at the end of this season.
“I feel very privileged to have had such an incredible run on the most iconic football show in the world.”
“Anyone that knows my story knows how much the show has meant to me since I was young boy. MOTD is my Holy Grail.
“On my first ever show, I told Des Lynam, ‘This is my Graceland’. It will always be my Graceland and I will always be watching.”
Wright continued: “I’m stepping back having made great friends and many great memories.
“This decision has been coming for a while, maybe my birthday earlier this year fast tracked it a little, but ultimately it’s time to do a few more different things with my Saturdays.
“I’m really looking forward to my last months on the show and covering what will hopefully be an amazing Premier League title race.”
Wright retired from playing in 2000 and began working as a regular pundit two years later and has enjoyed two spells on Match of the Day.
The first was from 2002 until 2008 and then he returned in 2015.
Back in May this year, Wright also made history when he appeared alongside Shaun Wright-Phillips as they became the first father and son punditry team to appear on the show.
Head of BBC Sport content Philip Bernie said: “Ian has been a wonderful star player on MOTD since his first appearance over 20 years ago.
“His insight, wit and warmth have richly entertained and informed all those watching him.
“We will miss his unique style and presence when he goes at the end of this season, but we will be sure to give him the send-off he deserves.”
An emotional Lineker tweeted: “It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work alongside you, Ian. One of my favourite people on the planet. Farewell my friend.”
Shearer added: “See you in 3 hours. I’ll give you a big hug!!!”
Piers Morgan said: “Congrats on a magnificent run, Legend.. and on quitting at the very top of your punditry game. We’ll miss your smart analysis, passion and mischievous laugh.”
BBC Sport commentator Conor McNamara said: “Presenters, producers, runners, commentators, engineers, bosses…
“Any show Wrighty works on, he somehow puts everyone in a good mood. Never seen anyone have an effect that wide-ranging.”
And fans of all clubs paid tribute to “one of the most likeable people on TV”.
Wright was snapped-up from non-league football by Crystal Palace at the age of 21 and scored 90 goals for the Eagles, including two in the 1990 FA Cup final against Manchester United.
Those exploits led to George Graham bringing him to Arsenal in 1991 for a club-record £2.5m fee – but he more than repaid that figure.
Wright went on to become the club’s record goalscorer with 185 goals, a tally since surpassed by Thierry Henry, and won a host of honours under Graham and Arsene Wenger.
He lifted the Premier League title, the FA Cup, League Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup during his time at Highbury. – Sun.