A mural of Ian Wright has appeared in Lewisham after a local artist was inspired by the footballing legend's early life growing up in Brockley.

Wright, born in Woolwich in 1963, went on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs on Friday, where he proudly spoke about his time at school in Brockley with the man that "changed my life."

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker was left "in bits" earlier this week after listening to the former striker and I'm A Celeb star speak about Sydney Pigden, a teacher at Turnham Junior School.

Ian had a hard time keeping the emotion out of his voice as he recalled how the "greatest man in the world" had taken him under his wing as a kid "who wouldn't sit still."

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The conversation with host Lauren Laverne has hit listeners in Lewisham hard, including local artist Lionel Stanhope who, after listening, painted a mural of the man on Upper Brockley Road.

This was unveiled in a Facebook post simply stating "Overdue."

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In the radio interview, Ian says that unveiling a plaque for Mr Pigden, who died in 2017, at Turnham Junior School was "the greatest thing I've ever done."

He told listeners: "I love that man. I know he loved me, I don't know why he chose me but I'm glad he did.

"He gave me responsibility, I used to collect the registers from the teachers, and then they made me milk monitor.

"It felt really good, I just felt important. He gave me a sense of feeling like I had some use."

A video of the pair re-uniting in 2010 went viral after Ian broke down in shock at seeing his former teacher.

Ian, the father of footballers Shaun and Bradley Wright-Phillips, was brought up by his mother and an abusive stepfather, and later described as Sydney Pigden as "the first positive male figure I had in my life."

Speaking on Desert Island Discs, Ian said: "I remember him saying that he was more proud of the fact that I played for England, than him flying over Buckingham Palace."

"I love that man, god I'm sorry to the viewers, I've turned into this bumbling crying guy."



Dan Walker posted the show on Twitter, revealing it "had me in bits," and fans have taken to comment sections to praise Ian's moving tribute.

Sydney was a PE teacher at Turnham junior school in Brockely for 30 years, but before that he joined the RAF at the age of 18 and survived over 100 ground-attack sorties.

In 2019, Ian Wright unveiled a memorial plaque at Turnham Academy in memory of Sydney Charles Pigden.

The plaque, reads: “In Recognition of Sydney Charles Pigden for his dedicated service to the Lewisham community: WW2 Spitfire pilot, Teacher at Turnham school, Secretary Lewisham Primary Schools Football Association & Sports Coach and Mentor."