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Ian Wright forced to leave ITV’s FA Cup coverage due to family bereavement

The former England and Gunners striker was on punditry duties at the Crown Oil Arena for Sunday’s lunchtime FA Cup clash between Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle

Ian Wright (pictured, far right) was on punditry duties before having to leave due to a family bereavement.

Ian Wright was forced to prematurely leave ITV’s live FA Cup coverage on Sunday afternoon due to a family bereavement.

The former Arsenal and England man was on punditry duties for the second round lunchtime tie between Rochdale and Plymouth Argyle.

The 58-year-old was on good form prior to the game at the Crown Oil Arena, appearing alongside host Mark Pougatch and former Rochdale striker Grant Holt.

However, the broadcaster announced at half-time that Wright had to leave the ground to be with his family following the passing of a loved one.

Messages of support have since flooded in on social media for the popular former striker.

Ian Wright is a regular face on both the BBC and ITV’s football coverage

One wrote on Twitter : “Sorry to hear your news. Stay strong.”

Another put: “Hope everthing is ok.”

Another said: “Condolences Wrighty.”

Prior to the televised game there was a nice moment where Wright met his namesake, a fan in the home end.

Presenter Mark Pougatch said: “Mr Ian Wright doing lots of selfies today but this one was a little different though because you were actually talking to Ian Wright!”

Wright added: “I’ve wanted to meet him all my life. He said it’s been a nightmare for him for 31 years being called it!”

Pougatch added: “So good they named him twice!”

Wright, who retired from playing in 2000, remains a regular on football coverage in the UK. As well as appearing most weeks on the Match of the Day sofa he also appears as a pundit for ITV’s FA Cup and England coverage.

He has recently branched out into game show hosting, with Moneyball being shown on ITV on Saturday nights.

As for this afternoon’s game, Plymouth sealed a hard-fought victory against the League Two side in a keenly-fought contest in Lancashire.

Ryan Lowe’s team took the lead in the first half when Jordon Garrick headed home the opener. Rochdale rallied and their reward came just before the hour mark when Aaron Morley hit a long-range effort that levelled matters.

Plymouth overcame a stubborn Rochdale to book their place in the FA Cup third round

With a replay looming, Argyle then sealed victory as Luke Jephcott fired home to seal a spot in the third round and reward the Green Army fans who had made the long trip up from Devon in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The draw for the FA Cup third round takes place on Monday. Non-league side Yeovil Town are in the hat thanks to a 1-0 win over League Two side Stevenage on Saturday night.

Sunday sees three other ties taking place in the second round. Wigan Athletic, winners of the competition in 2013, lead Colchester United 2-1 heading into the final stages.

Later on Salford City host Chesterfield whilst non-league pair Kidderminster Harriers and FC Halifax Town also meet.

Monday will see the final tie of the round take place when Boreham Wood host St Albans City, with another non-league side guaranteed to be in the hat for round three.

The draw is on Monday night at 7pm, prior to the Boreham Wood game.

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