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Billy Wright, CBE (February 6, 1924 - September 3, 1994) was a footballer for 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 1950, 1954 and 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, 1958 and 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 awarded the CBE soon after. He became manager of Arsenal 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 Cup by Blackburn Rovers (who finished bottom of the First Division), Wright was dismissed. Wright left management and later became a television pundit for ATV.

Wright became a minor media personality, and his marriage to Joy Beverley of the 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.

 

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