A late cameo by Mark Wright, the star of UK reality series “The Only Way is Essex,” put considerable salt in the wounds of Premier League team Leeds United as they were sent to pack by the FA Cup Minnows.
Second division team Crawley picked up a sensational scalp from Bielsa’s highly acclaimed Leeds side on Sunday after three goals from Nick Tsaroulla, Ashley Nadesan and Jordan Tunnicliffe scored an unexpected 3-0 win for John Yems in the second half .
Crawley Town, who takes on 33-year-old reality TV star Mark Wright in the 90th minute for a 3-0 win over Leeds, is great shit. pic.twitter.com/jCB4QQKMIq
– Football Shithousery (@FootyRustling) January 10, 2021
To be that 3-0 against a League 2 team that brings someone in for a 5 minute cameo from TOWIE has to be really demoralizing
– Gamble (@ Gamble1878) January 10, 2021
Crawley’s win was made all the more impressive (though perhaps not for Leeds fans) with the late appearance of Mark Wright, a character who may well appeal to British television audiences as one of the main characters in the hit reality series’ The Only Way Is Essex.
33-year-old Wright, who was in Crawley’s books in the 2006/07 season before ditching the fine game in favor of a career in show business, agreed to an uncontracted contract with the club in December, but it wasn’t expected to make a big impression on first-team affairs – before Yems decided to bleed his new player against the Premier League in added time.
Wright, who plays as a left-back and is a regular on the charity series Soccer Aid, will no doubt take pride in helping his team achieve their most significant win in several seasons. However, some fans toss a stick in the mud, saying Wright’s late cameo will overshadow the performances of his teammates who largely scored the historic 3-0 win.
Sorry for the Crawley players who were brilliant today and everyone will be talking about the Mark Wright sideline …
– Chris Sutton (@ chris_sutton73) January 10, 2021
The poor Bielsa assistant who had to watch 26 series of The Only Way Is Essex in preparation for tonight’s game.
– Rowd (@RowdenJRSG) January 10, 2021
Mark Wright knocks Leeds out of the FA Cup and then goes home to Michelle Keegan, a winner of life.
– Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 10, 2021
If some fans lament Wright’s signature as little more than a publicity stunt, they likely have a point. He currently has more than 1.7 million Instagram followers – a number that far exceeds the 16,900 fans Crawley Town has on the social media platform – and is married to Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan of Pension Stadium once they have been given permission to re-allow fans to participate.
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Wright, who was published by Tottenham as a teenager, was a mainstay in British television circles and also appeared on shows such as “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” and “Take Me Out: The Gossip” on his résumé on BBC’s “Match of the Day” before all is said and done.