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Thursday, May 27, 1999 Published at 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK

Wright banned for ref outburst

An incensed Ian Wright is ordered off against Leeds

West Ham striker Ian Wright will miss the first three matches of next season after he admitted damaging a referee's dressing room.

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Wright was also fined £17,500 by the Football Association for the incident, which occured after he was sent off in the Premiership match against Leeds earlier this month.

An FA spokeswoman said: "He offered a full and frank admission for his conduct and apologised unreservedly for the distress he caused."

Wright apologised for the outburst in his Sun newspaper column, but it did not prevent him being charged with misconduct.

"I was so upset I behaved in an unacceptable manner," he said. "I don't even remember properly what I did."

The 35-year-old former England international has been plagued by discipline problems throughout his illustrious career.

Furious outburst

Wright was sent off by referee Rob Harris for two bookable offences.

He had to be restrained by team-mate Trevor Sinclair from confronting the official, but then stormed down the Upton Park tunnel, kicked open the door to the referee's room and caused damage to personal property and a TV set.

At a personal hearing in front of a three-man FA disciplinary panel Wright repeated his apology.

When he last appeared before the FA 18 months ago to answer a similar charge for his part in an end of match brawl at Leicester, he was warned about his future conduct.

The outcome of the hearing will be a relief for West Ham manager Harry Redknapp, who had feared being deprived of the frontman's services for a large chunk of next season.

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