Ex-England and Arsenal striker Ian Wright has been cleared of being a litter lout.
The former soccer ace, 42, was due to face a £5,000-a-day trial next week accused of throwing a paper cup out of the window of his Bentley.
He denied the offence, alleged to have been committed in Lewisham, South East London, on May 18 last year.
Lewisham council said: “At Greenwich magistrates court this week someone said they were responsible and paid a £50 fine, clearing the car owner.
The Telegraph’s Henry Winter pays to Wright’s successor at Highbury, French striker Thierry Henry, who scored both Arsenal goals in a mid-week Champions League visit to Sparta Prague.
Among the welcoming gifts Thierry Henry received on arriving at Highbury in 1999 was a tape from the vice-chairman, David Dein. It was a compilation of Ian Wright’s penalty-box pyrotechnics for Arsenal, a high-speed montage of bamboozled centre-halves, humiliated goalkeepers and Wright’s unrestrained celebrations. “This is what you have to do,” Dein smiled at Henry. No pressure.
Henry (above) took the tape home and watched it that evening. Two nights later he sat through it again, admiring the inimitable Wright’s ruthless and relentless haul of goals. “I never thought then that I would break Wrighty’s record,” said Henry yesterday, three days after passing Wright’s landmark of 185 goals.
For a while, the Arsenal faithful worried whether Henry would even get off the mark. Better known as a left-winger, the Juventus discard initially struggled to adapt when re-positioned by Arsene Wenger as a centre-forward, requiring nine games to break his duck. “At the beginning I felt I was more likely to break the clock at Highbury than the record of Wrighty,” Henry reflected.
Amid the many paeans this week, the Henry/Wright comparison needs placing in perspective. The Englishman, a natural finisher, was essentially selfish, living to score. The Frenchman is almost obsessive about the primacy of the team over self. “Apart from Diego Maradona, I never saw anyone winning a game on his own,” Henry said.
“Marco van Basten was my idol, but before he arrived at AC Milan, they were a great team. He left, and they were still a great team. Without my team, I’m no one. I finish the job of the team. I have to thank Bergkamp, Overmars, Manu Petit, Wiltord, and Kanu.”
Ensconced at the top of the Championship, Sheffield Wednesday manager Neil Warnock writes in Saturday’s Independent that he’s not a viable candidate for next England manager.
One paper suggested “Warnock for England” last week after the way we played at Millwall. I don’t think so. I went to see England Under-21s play Poland at Hillsbrough the other week.
They passed the ball 15 times before reaching halfway. I could never manage an international team doing it that way. I just couldn’t get excited. It was a great result for their coach Peter Taylor but I kept thinking, “Thank God it’s on a Tuesday, not a Monday or Wednesday. I’d hate to miss Coronation Street for this.”