6, 1924 -
3, 1994) was a
Wolverhampton Wanderers. A statue of him stands by
their stadium in his memory.
He was born William Ambrose Wright in
Ironbridge, Shropshire and played in the wing-half and other defensive
positions. He was the first player to win more than 100 caps for
England, and captained the national side no less than 90 times. He was
captain during their campaigns at the
1958 World Cup finals.
His association with the club began in
1934 when he was
taken on as a member of their ground staff, and he made his first-team debut in
1939, becoming club
captain soon after the
Second World War ended. With Wolves he won the
First Division title three times (1954,
1959) and the
FA Cup in
1949. During his
541 appearances for Wolves and his 105 games for England, his disciplinary
record was second to none - he was never cautioned or sent off by any referee.
He retired as a player in
1959 and was
CBE soon after. He became manager of
in 1962, but was
unable to bring any success to the club; Arsenal never finished higher than
seventh under Wright, and after a poor
1965-66 season, where Arsenal finished 14th and were knocked out of the FA
Blackburn Rovers (who finished bottom of the First Division), Wright was
dismissed. Wright left management and later became a
Wright became a minor media personality, and his marriage to Joy Beverley of
Beverley Sisters was one of the most successful showbiz marriages.
Billy Wright: A Hero for All
Seasons by Norman Giller. Billy Wright captained England 90 times on
the way to becoming the first footballer to win 100 international caps. He was
skipper of the all-conquering Wolves team that pioneered European football
nights in the 1950s. In A Hero for All Seasons, Norman Giller - who was a close
friend - traces his life and times. Billy was the David Beckham of his time.
When he married Joy Beverly of the Beverly Sisters in 1959, their wedding
stopped the traffic. It received almost as much publicity as the Posh Spice/Becks
union 40 years later. A Hero for All Seasons is not only a story of a great
sportsman, but also of an era of football that has disappeared from sight. Just
one difference: David Beckham earns in just one week more that Billy Wright
picked up as a player throughout a 20-year career. The author discusses the many
other changes that have occurred to the game since Wright's time, while also
exploring his career and his personal life as he rose from humble beginnings to
become a folk-hero.