Ian Wright’s violent anger ‘blackouts’ and scars left by mum’s cruel remark

On and off the football pitch, I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here star Ian Wright has long been famous for his fiery temper.

The former West Ham striker was fined £1,500 for spitting at Oldham Athletic fans in 1992 and once had to be restrained after after trashing a referee's dressing room in a fit of rage.

"I ended up kind of like blacking out and I smashed the referee's room to smithereens," he previously told The Players Tribune.

"[I] threw all their clothes in the bath; threw the television up against the wall. It's like I blacked out with pure rage."

Admitting he felt constantly angry, fighting was his passion and his thirst for violence began when he was just nine years old and living in the shadow of a bullying step-father in Brockley, South London.

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Recalling how he was subjected to "massive beatings", he said: "In the house I couldn't do anything. I didn't have any power.

"When I started playing football I got respect and power and when someone tackled me, I didn't know how to deal with it. So the first thing I done was fought them. Everything was confrontation."

Talking to The Mirror earlier this year, he told how his then heavy drinking mother, Nesta, offered him no affection.

And according to Ian, one torment that left an indelible mark was her insistence that she wished she'd aborted him.

“I can’t remember ever being hugged. I just felt really, really alone," he said.

"All I thought about was much I hated being in my house, how much I hated my sister and aunt, I hated my step-dad, and how my mum never showed anything."

"I learned the word ‘termination’ because she used to say she wanted one instead of me," he added.

The hate fuelled his passion for football and followed him onto the pitch, where he became known for his anger as much as his skill.

But after landing himself in front of the FA's disciplinary panel on at least six occasions, Ian, 56, realised he needed help.

Determined not to let his demons destroy his career, he started seeing a counsellor who implored him to heal the rift with his family, but that was easier said than done.

He said: “The counsellors used to talk to me about seeing if I could make peace with them.

“I tried on many many occasions, but my mum never opened up in any way.

"When you tried to sit down and speak to her about anything, she wouldn’t have it.

With help from therapists, Ian was finally able to channel his aggression and now uses his own dark childhood experiences to influence how he parents his own eight kids.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the greatest dad but I know what it means to love somebody, and what it means to give people love, and how it can affect them growing up,” he said.

“My love for them is unconditional and my upbringing means I have a lot of love to give now.”

As for the hatred, it's all but gone – unless he's hungry of course.

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