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Sunday, December 14, 1997 Published at 20:48 GMT

Sport: Football

'Controversy follows me ... he's gone to the bar'
image: [ Des Lynham talks to Wright on a video link to the studio ]
Des Lynham talks to Wright on a video link to the studio

Arsenal striker Ian Wright has laughed off the controversy over his outburst at fans who taunted him after Saturday's defeat at Highbury.

Wright shouted abuse at Arsenal supporters from a dressing room window at the ground. Many said they were shocked at the ferocity of the player's verbal attack.

Wright answers Des Lynham's question: "What happened on Saturday ..."
Wright appeared before the club's board on Sunday to explain his actions.

He said he had shouted at the fans because they were taunting him.

Later, appearing on the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year programme, Wright joked about the incident with Des Lynham.

Speaking via a live video link from Arsenal's Christmas party, he said: "Controversy has followed me ... and he's just gone to the bar to get a drink.

"I can't say how much I love the Arsenal fans and how passionate it is to win.

"I'm just as disappointed as they are to lose."

[ image: Wright:
Wright: "I react"
Referring to Saturday's incident, Wright said; "Some people said things, I don't know if they were even genuine Arsenal fans.

"I react to things like that. I just told them I was as disappointed as they were."

Tony Willis, the editor of Arsenal fanzine One-Nil Down, saw the exchange after the match.

He feels it was symptomatic of the deteriorating relationship between Wright and the fans and he claims he should retire at the end of the season.

"The love affair between Ian Wright and the Arsenal fans is definitely on the wane," he claimed.

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