Mark Wright comes off the bench in Crawley's FA Cup win with Leeds

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me On The Pitch! Reality TV star Mark Wright makes his pro football debut for Crawley with cameo in FA Cup giant killing of Premier League Leeds

  • Mark Wright was named on the bench for Crawley Town’s FA Cup tie with Leeds
  • The former TOWIE star was sent on in the dying minutes of Crawley’s 3-0 upset 
  • Wright signed for the League Two side for a second time back in December
  • Wright was let go by Tottenham as a youngster before pursuing a TV career

The Only Way is Essex star Mark Wright came off the bench for Crawley Town in the dying minutes of their shock 3-0 win against Leeds United in the FA Cup on Sunday. 

The 33-year-old, who played at Crawley during the 2006-07 season before seeking a career as TV personality figure, rejoined the club on a non-contract basis back in December and was named as a substitute for the third round tie against the Premier League outfit.    

John Yem’s League Two side sealed a sensational upset against Marcelo Bielsa and Co by scoring three second half goals through Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe and the reality TV star was given a chance for a run out with the game wrapped up. 

TV personality Mark Wright came off the bench for Crawley during their 3-0 win over Leeds

The TOWIE star was brought on in the 91st minute of the third-round clash on Sunday

It was a bigmoment for the 33-year-old, who has not been involved in the game since 2011 

The TV personality, who plays at left back and has been a regular in the Soccer Aid charity games, came on for Jake Hessenthaler in the 91st minute of the game. 

While he didn’t have many touches – it was a massive moment for a man who had been away from the game at any level for nearly a decade. 

Wright had been training with the club for two months before completing a free transfer there. 

Wright, who was a youth star with Tottenham, has appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Strictly Come Dancing

As a youngster, Wright came through the ranks at Tottenham and even captained one of their youth teams but was released by the north London club which saw him drop down to non-league. 

He opted to pursue a career in reality TV and signed up to ITV’s The Only Way is Essex and later appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here as well as Take Me Out: The Gossip and has been a DJ on Heart radio.

The TV star – who is married to actress Michelle Keegan – admitted that being let go by Spurs was a devastating moment for him but it was the result of having too much fun as young up-and-coming talent. 

Wright (pictured with his partner Michelle Keegan) started his youth career at Tottenham but was released by them before a move into TV

He told the BBC: ‘The day I got released from Tottenham was one of the worst days of my life. I cried my eyes out, I realised I messed up.

‘I didn’t want to face my family, I didn’t want to face my friends. I was embarrassed. I had it all, 18, going to clubs and I just thought, “It’s done. I’ve been spoiled, I played for Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham all of my life and never had to suffer when it came to football.”

‘Captain of the youth team, playing for the reserves with Jamie Redknapp, Stephen Dalmat, Helder Postiga. I had it all.

Wright had been training with Crawley for two months before completing a free transfer

Marcelo Bielsa’s (above) side were stunned by the former TOWIE actor on Sunday

‘I went away one summer for a month, I drank alcohol for the first time, ate what I wanted every day, put on a stone and a half and came back to training pre-season and the goalkeepers were beating me. Never pulled it back. 

‘Went to League One club Southend and thought “Right, I’ve dropped the down to League One, I’ve got to get myself back up.” I’m going to train harder, train longer. Do what I’m doing now at Crawley.

‘Staying out after with the fitness coach. On my days, I’m going to work harder to get back.’

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