Growth type: Late/Lasting
Billy Wright (6 February 1924 - 3 September 1994), a player described as a national treasure' by The Times in 1959, was in his lifetime an institution at the heart of the England team and, with 105 caps, including a record 90 as captain, currently stands as the nation's fifth most capped player of all time.
Wright, who started his career as a striker before moving to right-back (and, later, centre-back), was the first ever player to win 100 caps for his country, and to this day holds the record for the most consecutive appearances for England: 70, between 03/10/1951 and 28/05/1959.
At just 5 ft 8 fully-grown, a young Wright was told that he was too small to ever succeed in professional football. Undeterred, he persevered, and convinced Wolverhampton Wanderers, his only club, to afford him a second chance. Wright proved a revelation after the war, and in 1947 was appointed club captain - a position he would hold until retiring in 1959.
Despite his diminutive size, Wright was a physical presence, possessing a tremendous jump, reasonable pace and strength in the tackle. Legendary England winger Tom Finney would refer to his team-mate as "Mr Dynamo", a tribute to the amount of running he did during a game.
Consistency would also prove a hallmark of Wright's professional career. " I rate Billy as a challenger for the title of the most consistent centre-half ever to play for England", Finney once remarked. Indeed, throughout the entire 1950s, Wright missed just 31 games for Wolves, winning Footballer of the Year in 1952.
"Billy had a heart of oak and was the most reliable of men," Walter Winterbottom, his England manager said. "He was a team player who never tried to seek personal glory. He turned simplicity into an art form."
Wright was an extremely intelligent defender, unflappably calm and precise in the tackle. During a total of 541 appearances for Wolves and 105 for England, his disciplinary record was second to none â ” he was never cautioned or sent off by any referee.
He led Wolves to three First Division titles as well as an FA Cup and was idolised nationwide, but Wright remained a humble man: "I only had two things on my mind as a player," he once said, "to win the ball and then to give the simplest pass I could to the nearest team-mate."
First Division: 1954, 1958, 1959
FA Cup: 1949
105 England Caps
(Wolves winning the F.A Cup in 1949)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Wrig ... tballer%29
http://www.wolves.co.uk/page/GoldenOldi ... 71,00.html
http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/p ... wright.htm