***Ian Wright Reveals Shocking Truth About Cannabis Use During Start of Career
The former England forward, who earned 33 caps for the Three Lions, admitted that his career was almost cut short, only to be saved by a lucky moment as a 21-year-old while playing for Palace.
“Not long after I’d got myself into the first team at Palace at 21. I came far too close to throwing it all away, when the drug testers came to our game against West Brom.” Wright told The Sun.
“I’d been smoking weed since I was about 17, not in a smoke-myself-into-uselessness type of way and I wasn’t worried about becoming an addict.
“As a kid I preferred smoking to drinking when I went out. I’d been around weed smokers from a very early age, and recently it had become something of an end-of-the-week ritual.
“It didn’t even dawn on me that I was doing anything wrong.”
Then came the moment against West Brom when the drug testers were brought into the dressing rooms, Wright believed his time was up at that point, having smoked cannabis just 24 hours previous.
“We beat WBA 4-1 that Saturday, the whole team came into the dressing room still excited and then the drug testers arrived,” he added.
“It’s the first time I’d ever seen them and I panicked inside – I’ve been smoking cannabis, less than 24 hours earlier, and if that test comes back positive that’s it. It is literally all over for me.
“I’m practically paralysed while trying to act unconcerned. The guy says: ‘Drug test, number nine.’ Mark Bright.
“I’m sure he’s going to call my number next, number ten. He calls, ‘Drug test, number 11.’ Phil Barber.
“I sit down – more or less collapse – and think, ‘Somebody’s looking out for me, now I know it!’
“If I had got caught on that drugs test it would have been beyond them, they just wouldn’t have understood it: ‘What?! You got into Crystal Palace and you didn’t stop smoking weed?
“From that day to this I never smoked a spliff again.”