By Lucy Cooper

18th October 2019

Mark Wright Footballer: From Pitch To Presenter

Mark Wright Footballer’ might not necessarily be the term you’d first associate with the ex-TOWIE star – presenter or reality star might first spring to mind.

But, Wright- amongst other things- was actually a semi-pro footballer back in the day. Before the bright lights of stardom hit, he could be found running up and down the wing of a local football pitch every Saturday.

 

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What a top 3 !! Put me in the 10 role behind them and it’s unbeatable @harrykane @marcusrashford @sterling7 @england #football #strikeforce #ballers

A post shared by Mark Wright (@wrighty_) on

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The 32-year-old’s former career includes playing for the West Ham United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur youth teams; followed by a senior career at Southend United.

Unfortunately (or you could say fortunately, given where he’s at today), Mark Wright footballer status wasn’t long-lived, instead taking a different path.

Mark Wright Footballer To Baller

Like his former TOWIE cast mate, Joey Essex, Mark got caught up in the club promoting scene, which ultimately pathed the way to his TOWIE career.

A knack for the sport clearly runs in the family, with Mark’s younger brother, Josh, turning it in to a full-blown career. Unlike his brother, who got sucked in to the celeb-sphere, Josh is still a footballer. Having played for Gillingham FC, Millwall and Scunthorpe, he’s now a first-team player for Leyton Orient.

 

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It was written in the stars ✨!! It’s been a tough 6 weeks for the bro @joshwright4444 , his close friend and manger Justin Edinburgh signed him for @leytonorientfc around the day he lost his life, making my brother his last signing ever. Today on his Debut for the club Justin signed him at just 6 weeks back, he scored, got man of the match & they won the game. This picture says it all !! That one was for you Just 💙❤️

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Mark, instead took another route- one that’s made him a regular on our TV screens. Joining the original case back in October 2010, he was the ultimate Essex- boy- good-looking, charming and a bit of a player. In the first series we saw a brief romance with TOWIE veterans Lucy Meck and Sam Faiers, whilst Wright was on a break from his long-term girlfriend, Lauren Goodger.

mark wright footballer lucy meck

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Despite being the poster boy for the show back in the day, he was actually only part of the cast officially for a year, departing in October 2011.

Trouble In Paradise

Coinciding with his exit came his split with long-term, on and off girlfriend (and co-star), Lauren Goodger. Ultimately, it was Lauren who caused them to end, according to Wright. Goodger was reportedly caught kissing another man, whilst away- leading Mark to end their rollercoaster romance, once and for all.

“It is painful and it is sad. She was a massive part of my life. I will love her probably until the day I die, but I cannot get back with her.

mark wright footballer lauren

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Not being able to stay away all-together, Wright made a cameo inn 2014, and again in 2016. He’s yet to make another appearance, but that might be sooner than we expect, with the tenth anniversary of the reality show coming up in 2020.

In between cameo appearances, Wright dabbled in more reality shows (as many as wanted him). In 2011, finishing runner-up on I’m A Celeb, and then placing fourth in Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

He’s Not Left Our Screens Since

Unlike some other ex- TOWIE stars, his career catapulted in to a new level when he left- he was just never off our screens. All these years later, he’s managed to work is way up to, what some would say, National treasure level.

 

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Don’t get me wrong, I love just throwing on a tracksuit day by day, but on that special occasion I do love getting done up to the nines and I LOVE this tux !! www.matalan.co.uk @shopmatalan #spon

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Moving Swiftly On…

In his personal life, he proved he’d moved on from ex- Lauren quite quickly, meeting his new wife-to-be just a few months after calling things off with Goodger.

Wright met Michelle Keegan whilst holidaying in Dubai at the end of 2012 (so, literally a couple of months after the break-up).

Things moved relatively quickly, with Wright proposing to the brunette beauty just 9 months after they met. Whilst back in their ‘special place’, Dubai, Mark popped the question with a CORKER of a diamond.

Image Source/ Dailymail 

The pair have been together ever since marrying in 2015. Their marriage has been under scrutiny ever since, though, since the pair parted ways to pursue their dream careers.

Distance Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Last year, Michelle spent a number of months in Malaysia, whilst her other half was chasing the American dream in LA.

Since the TOWIE days, Mark has been pursuing his passion for presenting, which last year hit a peak when he landed his dream role out in the states. Presenting Extra (a popular talk show out there) alongside Mario Lopez, was a dream come true for the Essex lad, and an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, despite having to leave his wife and family behind.

 

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Lovely family meal last night for the bro @joshwright4444 bday 💙

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Ever since the pair wed, their work commitments meant they rarely spent long periods of time together in the same country, forcing long-distance to be their thing. But, in this day and age, it’s not like they had to write to each other:

“Wifi makes FaceTime free so we make it work.”

Speaking about the logistics of their marriage, Michelle revealed:

“No one knows how much we see each other because we don’t publicise it. People say: “Ah, they haven’t seen each other for ages,” but they don’t know. Mark sometimes comes home for a weekend and no one knows he’s even there. Over the years we’ve learned how to do that and I’ve definitely become more private.”

Back On Home Turf

Making it through the long distance, and past all the speculation and rumours thrown at them along the way, the pair remain happily married, and are finally both now living in the same country.

 

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IBIZA with my no1

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Mark admitted, although a dream job, that work (or money) isn’t everything, and out there he wasn’t as fulfilled as he is with family over here. Even the constant sunshine wasn’t enough to keep him out there…

“I was living in the hills, Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Hills – life was great, so I thought. Four, five months in, I sat back and I was a bit lonely, I wasn’t that happy, and obviously I went there to get a better job and to get more money as we say. And I was without my wife, who wasn’t living there because she couldn’t and my family wasn’t there, my mum, my dad, my brothers and sisters, my friends… and I can tell you know from first hand that money doesn’t buy happiness.”

In February of this year he made the move back to England, where Keegan was after wrapping up filming for ‘Our Girl’.

 

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We back!!! Filming is way underway for season 4 of Our Girl! @bbcone #ourgirl #georgielane #2section 🎥💪🏽🙌🏼

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Is A 5-A-Side Team On The Way?

They’re constantly being questioned about when the next step of kids is coming. Keegan, understandably, shared her frustrations:

“It’s horrible, it’s like ‘you’re 32, are you not planning to have a baby yet?’ People don’t know if we’re trying. They don’t know the background of what’s happening. It’s no one else’s business. In this day and age you shouldn’t ask questions like that.”

The pair have certainly made sure they’re financially stable enough to start a family anyway, with both their careers flying.

Michelle is currently filming Sky comedy ‘Brassic’, whilst Mark is bagging presenting and TV jobs left, right and centre, with the first ever UK Bachelor series being his most recent gig.

Mark Wright Footballer- Back To His Roots

Between filming, Wright still manages to carry on his previous job title of ‘Mark Wright footballer’. Nowadays, it’s just on a much bigger and grander scale when he plays- usually on TV, as part of the Soccer Aid celeb team, to raise money for charity.

 

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What a week again. Making dreams come true and raising an amazing amount of money for a great charity in @unicef_uk playing in @socceraid every year is a childhood dream with idols of the sport and friends of the entertainment industry. Thanks for having me again. Shame I missed a penalty and didn’t manage to get a goal in real time after so many close attempts but hey, it makes it more interesting that World 11 won as next year we want it back even more 💙⚽️ #dreams #socceraid #football

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He made his first Soccer Aid appearance in 2016, playing for the ‘England’ team, comprised of Wright and a whole host of other male celebs. Unsurprisingly, given his background on the pitch, he went on to score a goal and win Man Of The Match. He’s since been part of the 2018 and 2019 Soccer Aid team, which as an organisation has raised £7.9m for Unicef.

There’s nothing Wright won’t turn his hand (or foot to) it seems, so we look forward to what’s next for the hunky Essex lad…

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