Sep 13, 1997 at 3pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
BoltonBolton Wanderers
Parlour (44'), Wright (20', 25', 81')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Thompson (13')

On this day: Ian Wright breaks Arsenal's goalscoring record

OTD: Wright breaks Arsenal's goalscoring record
© Getty Images
Seventeen years ago today, Ian Wright became Arsenal's leading goalscorer of all time thanks to a hat-trick against Bolton Wanderers.

When you glance at Arsenal's record books, Thierry Henry is clear at the top where the club's leading goalscorer of all time is concerned.

The Frenchman found the net 228 times in all competitions for the Gunners, with him having claimed the record in October 2005 from Ian Wright, who had sat at the summit for just eight years.

While Henry's exploits in front of goal were highly impressive, Wright's were arguably just as good, if not better, largely due to the fact that the Englishman had broken a record that had stood for 50 years.

Between the years of 1929 and 1947, Cliff Bastin scored 178 goals for the North Londoners. Numerous frontmen had tried following his departure, but none could get anywhere near that tally until Wright arrived at Highbury from Crystal Palace for £2.5m in 1991.

A late starter in the professional game - Wright didn't sign for Palace until he was almost 22 - he hit the ground running with Arsenal. In his first five full seasons with the club, he scored at least 30 goals in four of them.

It meant that when he scored one against Leeds United on the opening day of the 1997-98 season and then a brace next time out against Coventry City, Wright was just one short of Bastin's haul. However, he was then frustrated by Southampton, Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, all of whom kept the 33-year-old out.

Nevertheless, when Bolton Wanderers arrived at Highbury 17 years ago today, he would not be denied. Winger Alan Thompson gave the visitors a shock early lead, but in the 20th minute Wright equalised, drawing him level with Bastin, although in all the excitement, the goalscorer revealed a vest underneath his Arsenal shirt proclaiming that he had broken the record, which he hadn't!

He wouldn't have to wait too long, though, because just five minutes later, he found the net for Arsenal for the 179th time. It couldn't have been simpler for Wright as he rolled his effort into an unguarded net from close range after Patrick Vieira had prodded the ball into his path.

Ray Parlour made it 3-1 to the home side just before the break, but the final say would go to Wright nine minutes from time as he completed his hat-trick when he volleyed in David Platt's cross.

Speaking after the final whistle, Wright told reporters: "People were saying that the record was getting to me and now I can look back and say yes it was eating into me, but those close around me like Dennis Bergkamp kept telling me to stay calm and it would come.

"This has been the greatest week of my footballing life. I claimed two for England against Moldova, a hat-trick here at Highbury and with it the record. It only seems like yesterday that I walked through the door here at Highbury from Crystal Palace and met George Graham."

Wright would end up leaving Arsenal at the end of that season having helped the team to a Premier League and FA Cup double. In total, he scored 185 goals in 288 outings for the club.

David Platt celebrates scoring for England at the World Cup on July 01, 1990.
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