Thomas Andrew “Tommy” Wright (born 28 September 1984) is an English footballer who plays as a striker for Southern Premier League side Corby Town, where he is also the club’s manager.
A former England U19 and U20 international, he started his career with Leicester City, helping them into the Premier League in 2002–03. However he failed to hold down a regular first team place, and was loaned out to Brentford and Blackpool, before transferring to Barnsley in 2006. He helped the “Tykes” to promotion out of League One via the play-offs, before he joined Darlington in January 2007 following a short loan spell at League Two champions Walsall. He was sold on to SPL side Aberdeen in August 2008 for a £100,000 fee. He returned to England in January 2010, signing with Grimsby Town, who were soon relegated out of the Football League. He re-joined Darlington, helping the club to lift the FA Trophy in 2011. He then spent a brief time with Kidderminster Harriers and then Luton Town.
Wright was born in Kirby Muxloe, Leicester. He started his career at home town club Leicester City, making his Premier League debut under Dave Bassett on 23 March 2002, in a 2–0 home defeat to Leeds United, after he replaced Stefan Oakeson 86 minutes. The “Foxes” were relegated at the end of the season, and new manager Micky Adams played Wright 13 times in the 2002–03 First Division promotion campaign. He scored his first senior goal on 18 January, in a 3–2 win over Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium; his second goal was the only one of the game against rivals Nottingham Forest at the Walkers Stadium on 8 April. He was offered a new contract at the end of the campaign.
Despite journalist Phil McNulty naming the youngster as ‘one to watch’ at the start of 2003–04 (13 of the 20 he named went on to become full internationals), Wright did not feature for Leicester throughout the campaign. He instead joined Wally Downes’s Brentford on loan in September 2003, and scored three goals in 25 Second Division games for the “Bees” in 2003–04, with his contribution to the team ended by an ankle injury picked up in April. Leicester were relegated at the end of the season, and Wright played seven Championship and two cup games in the 2004–05 campaign. He joined League One Blackpool on loan at the start of the 2005–06 season, and hit six goals in fifteen games under Colin Hendry and then Simon Grayson.
Wright was signed by Barnsley on 1 January 2006 for a £50,000 fee. Manager Andy Ritchie led the “Tykes” to promotion out of League One via the play-offs in 2005–06, with Wright scoring one goal in 22 appearances. He appeared in the play-off Final victory over Swansea City at the Millennium Stadium after coming on for Marc Richards after 70 minutes. Barnsley’s promotion to the Championship saw Wright figure more from the bench for the Yorkshire side during the 2006–07 season, and in November he was sent out on a two-month loan to League Two side Walsall. Scoring on his debut at the Bescot Stadium, he netted twice in five starts for the “Saddlers”, who went on to top the division under manager Richard Money.
Having failed to agree personal terms with Rotherham United, Wright signed with Dave Penney’s Darlington, also of League Two. He finished the campaign with four goals in 13 appearances for the “Quakers”. He fired Darlington into the play-offs in 2007–08, where they were knocked out by Rochdale at the semi-final stage; Wright finished as the club’s top scorer with thirteen goals. He was nominated for the League Two player of the month award for January after scoring three goals in the space of six games, but lost out to Grimsby Town’s Danny North.
On 8 August 2008, Wright was transferred to Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen, manager Jimmy Calderwood paying a fee of £100,000; the deal had been delayed after Wright suffered a knee injury. Wright caused a stir in his first appearance in an Aberdeen shirt, receiving a yellow card for a reckless challenge, and allegedly attempting to headbutt Motherwell defender Stephen Craigan. He scored his first senior goal for the “Dons” with an effort from the edge of the area in a Scottish Cup Fifth Round tie against East Fife at Pittodrie on 17 February. Shortly after, on 3 March, he netted his first SPL goal, a “wonderful” header from the edge of the area for a last minute equaliser in a 1–1 draw with St. Mirren. He finished the 2008–09 campaign with two goals in nineteen games, and Aberdeen finished fourth to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League.
His injury problems continued into the 2009–10 season. By January it became clear that new manager Mark McGhee had little faith in Wright, and he told the striker that he was available for a transfer. Wright attracted interest from League One side Stockport County, but they failed to follow up their initial interest. On 27 January, Wright was released from his contract with Aberdeen, a whole eighteen months before it was due to expire.
On 28 January 2010, Wright signed for Grimsby Town, penning an eighteen-month contract with Neil Woods’ League Two side. Wright struggled to hold a place in the team and finished the season with just one goal in fourteen games. The “Mariners” were relegated from the Football League at the end of the season, and despite initially making public his desire to stay at the club,
on 31 May it was confirmed that Wright had exercised a clause in his Grimsby contract allowing him to leave the club with immediate effect; he re-joined former club Darlington on a two-year deal the following day, the “Quakers” had fallen into the Conference Premier in his absence, and were now led by manager Simon Davey. Davey left the club, and within a few weeks Wright went public with his praise of new boss Mark Cooper. Wright scored five goals in 29 games in 2010–11, and appeared at the FA Trophy finalagainst Mansfield Town at Wembley; though Wright failed to convert a few opportunities, a last minute goal from Chris Senior won the game for the “Quakers” in extra time.
In September 2011, Wright was released from his Darlington contract, and he quickly signed for Conference rivals Kidderminster Harriers on non-contract terms after impressing manager Steve Burr, with the view to earning himself a contract until the end of the season. However he departed the Harriers after making only two appearances for the club.
On 18 October Wright signed with fellow Conference side Luton Town on a three-month deal. He was released by Luton at the expiry of his contract, having scored three goals in six appearances, including one against former club Grimsby. He began training with League Two side Port Vale – managed by his former boss at Leicester, Micky Adams– in January 2012.
On 27 January 2012, Wright signed for Forest Green Rovers. Wright made a goal scoring debut on 18 February 2012 when he scored in a 2–1 win against Gateshead. At the end of the season, having made 7 appearances and scoring 2 goals, Wright was released by Forest Green. On 5 July 2012, Wright was confirmed as a Tamworth player, along with Adam Cunnington and Marcus Kelly.
In June 2013, Wright signed for Conference North side Harrogate Town, becoming the club’s fourth summer signing.
On 9 September 2013 Wright was appointed Player/Joint-Manager of Southern Premier League side Corby Town, taking up the position alongside former Histon coach Andrew Wilson. At the end of the 2014–15 season Wright was appointed as the sole manager by the club’s new owners.
Wright played for the England under-19s at the 2003 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship in Liechtenstein. He played alongside Stewart Downing in defeats to Austria and the Czech Republic and a 2–0 win over France; the English finished third in the group and were therefore eliminated.
He also represented England under-20s at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, starting in the defeat to Egypt, and coming on as a substitute in the defeat to Japan and draw with eventual third-place finishers Colombia they finished bottom of their group and were eliminated without scoring a goal.
Full name Thomas Andrew Wright
Date of birth 28 September 1984 (age 31)
Place of birth Kirby Muxloe, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Striker
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2006 Leicester City 21 (2)
2003–2004 Brentford (loan) 25 (7)
2005 Blackpool (loan) 13 (8)
2006–2007 Barnsley 34 (2)
2006–2007 Walsall (loan) 6 (2)
2007–2008 Darlington 54 (17)
2008–2010 Aberdeen 18 (1)
2010 Grimsby Town 14 (1)
2010–2011 Darlington 22 (4)
2011 Kidderminster Harriers 2 (0)
2011–2012 Luton Town 4 (1)
2012 Forest Green Rovers 7 (2)
2012–2013 Tamworth 41 (8)
2013 Harrogate Town 6 (0)
2013– Corby Town 0 (0)
2003 England U19 7 (0)
2003 England U20 3 (0)
2013– Corby Town (player-manager)