Mark Wright’s Soccer Aid controversy after ‘troubling’ ITV bosses with decision

Mark Wright plays in Soccer Aid’s charity soccer game this Sunday, but the reality TV star was missed in the original lineup announcement

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Mark Wright gives tour of £3.5m dream home in Essex

Mark Wright may be known for his performance in TOWIE and I’m A Celeb, but he’s also pretty good on the football field.

The 35-year-old was in the academies of West Ham and Tottenham Hostpur, played for Southend United and briefly signed for Crawley Town last season.

Mark, who has been confirmed to play in Soccer Aid’s upcoming football game, initially faced controversy ahead of the announcement.

The reality TV star was missed at the “full lineup” announcement — and his absence was notable for having appeared in the charity game in previous years.

The first reveal listed Harry Redknapp as manager of the England squad, with the captain as former One Directions star Liam Payne topping the star-studded celebrity list.

Mark played in Soccer Aid’s charity match in 2021


Getty Images)

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Rumors initially speculated that he was “banned” from participating after allegedly upsetting ITV bosses.

This came after Mark was said to have dropped out of reality sports game show The Games at the last minute via text message.

A source told The Sun at the time: “Mark’s name is mud at ITV at the moment. Bookers working on shows will not approach Mark to appear.

“The only show they are happy with is Soccer Aid as he is one person in a sea of ​​faces and has been part of the event for years.”

Mark denied the rumours


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However, Mark denied leaving the show via text, claiming he had projects with ITV in the pipeline.

He wrote on social media: “We haven’t commented on this bullshit story for over a week because it’s bullshit and there are much more important stories to worry about in the world.

“As it is constantly being repeated here is my commentary. I am by no means banned from ITV, in fact I am doing a show for ITV in three months.

“The show that ‘I quit’ didn’t even sign a contract for!

“I called and didn’t text the producer to tell her I had changed my mind about the show because I realized I already had too many other commitments to make it work.

“The media who wrote this are not to blame. They can only believe what the person who made this up is telling them.”

In April, he announced that he would attend this year’s charity match.

He said: “I’m excited to be returning to Soccer Aid for UNICEF this year!

“Getting another chance to play alongside football legends and play at the London Stadium is a childhood dream come true.

“Tickets are still available through the Soccer Aid website, please come and see us on Sunday 12th June – it’s a match you don’t want to miss!”

Mark Supports UNICEF in 2022’s Soccer Aid


©UNICEF/Soccer Aid Productions/Stella Pictures)

This Sunday he reveals his expertise in the sport


Mike Marsland/WireImage)

The reality TV star is no stranger to revealing his expertise on the pitch, having played in the charity match last year.

Mark has increased his professionalism in the sport over the years, having played professionally before his glamorous celebrity life on television screens.

Before his appearance on TOWIE, Mark was a semi-professional footballer, having a youth career with West Ham United, Arsenal and even Tottenham Hotspur.

After starting his senior career with Southend United, he soon moved into the promotion of nightclubs, where football was inevitably at the rear and played only semi-professionally.

He returned to professional football in December 2020, signing for League Two side Crawley Town on a contract basis.

However, his ambitions to cement himself as a professional footballer all but came to an end when Crawley Town confirmed they had released the star at the end of the 2020-21 season.

The former professional football player will again show his expertise in shorts next Sunday in the Soccer Aid football match for UNICEF.

Liam Payne is this year’s captain


Getty Images)

Kem Cetinay is also playing this year


David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

He will be teaming up with famous faces for the special day, including the likes of former Love Island winner Kem Cetinay and Emily’s Paris star Lucien Laviscount.

Soccer Aid was originally founded in 2006 by top hit Robbie Williams – who wanted to do his part to raise money for UNICEF – a United Nations agency that provides humanitarian and development aid to children around the world.

Once a year, a team of celebrities representing England take on a “World XI” team of famous names for an epic football match that is broadcast live on TV.

Since the first game, the event has raised more than £60 million for charity and last year’s event, held at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, raised a record £13 million.

This year’s match will take place at London Stadium in Stratford and will be broadcast live on ITV, STV and ITV Hub,

Soccer Aid will take place on Sunday 12th June – the event starts at 7.30pm.

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