Josh Wright left London permanently for the first time in his life as a 19-year-old looking for some regular football.After leaving Charlton, Wright found his way up to North Lincolnshire, after being convinced to sign for the club by then manager, Nigel Adkins.
Wright told our matchday programme, THE IRON: “I made the decision to leave Charlton when they were relegated to League One, and I needed a change in my career. I was talking to a few clubs as I wanted to stay at Championship level, and Nigel Adkins got in contact.
“I played at Wembley myself with Gillingham and Scunthorpe were there the next day, and Nigel watched our game. The interest came about and we met Nigel at a hotel during the summer, and once I spoke to him, there was no other club I wanted to sign for.
“The way he spoke to me about the club and about the plans and everything else and that was it there and then, I made my decision and away we went.”
When speaking about his first impressions of the club in his first few weeks, Wright was overwhelmed with how comfortable he was made to feel at Glanford Park.
“Obviously I was quite young to move away from home, I’m London based and I had to move quite far away, and I remember driving up there with my Dad on the day of the signing,” he said.
“It was a big step, people may think you’re just going to play football, but I’ve always been a person who has said that family are friends can’t be replaced.
“I came up there in the end and to this day I can’t thank the club enough for how much they made me feel welcome, the people around the place, not just at the club but around the town, and everything about it I just loved. The lads we superb, I settled in pretty well. It was tough moving away from home, but the club did everything they could for me, and the people were absolutely fantastic.”
Wright told us about the friends he made while with the club, and which players he socialised and still keeps in touch with.
“I used to live slightly further south in Lincoln with Gary Hooper and Michael O’Connor,” he said.
“Those two stick out the most for me, however there was also Ben May, and we would all live near each other and all drive up to Scunthorpe together.
“Also just by chance we had Jordan Spence at the club on loan, who I went to school with when I was young when he came for a spell from West Ham, and Freddie Sears who also came, so we were all quite close.
“Myself and Gary Hooper used to live right next to each other down by the Burton Waters on the front while Michael O’Connor used to live just up the road, so they are the ones who stand out to me as the people I was closest to.”
When asked about his best moment of his Iron career, there was only one moment that outweighed all others at Glanford Park.
“Obviously it has to be the goal against Manchester United,” he stated.
“It was the cup again, and of course the reason why was because who it was against, and also the way the goal went in, it’s been one of my best goals. That night will be a night during my spell that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life, it was a fantastic moment for myself, my friends, my family, everyone around me and the club itself, we were a goal up against them. That was a memory not just from Scunthorpe, but from my entire footballing career that I’ll never ever forget.”
Wright hasn’t forgotten his time in North Lincolnshire, despite the fact the midfielder returned home to London and has stayed there since, and continues to check up on his former club.
“Even when I’ve not been in their division, Scunthorpe are one of the first clubs I look out for,” he said.
“It’s just something you do with your previous clubs. At Scunthorpe I had many, many happy times there. I spent a couple of years there so I also check as soon as I’m out of my own games or when I’m not playing. They are the one team I’ll always look at without a doubt.”
Wright has been on the move recently, moving to Leyton Orient on a permanent basis from Millwall, and the former England Youth player is delighted to be back playing week in week out again.
He said: “In football you just want to be playing football, and I wasn’t doing enough of that while I was at Millwall, at some stages I was, but at a lot of stages I wasn’t, and it was very frustrating. I’ve settled in well now at Leyton Orient, they’re on my doorstep and a very local club, and I can always play a part here, and that really helps. They’ve been fantastic with me and I’m just really enjoying playing football again.”
This weekend, the Iron will rock up to the Matchroom Stadium looking to avenge the home defeat they suffered in September, and Wright will relish the opportunity to play against his old side again.
“It will be a tough game, they’ve got a good manager and they seem like they are building a really good squad,” he said.
“I’ve seen their plans for a new stadium and they look like a club that’s really on their way back up after their little of dip from being in the Championship.
“Looking at the game, it’s always a fixture you look out for playing against your previous clubs; as soon as I came here to Leyton Orient I had a look out for when we were playing Scunthorpe.
“It will be a good game, a test we are looking forward to, but a game we are confident with. There are still a few boys there that I played with at the time, and just the club in general, the fans were brilliant to me when I was there, and I look forward to seeing some of them. It is a fixture I am looking forward to, it has come around quickly and I’m excited for it!”