By 90Min
November 16, 2017

Ian Wright has opened up about the shocking bullying that he was subjected to by former Crystal Palace man Jim Cannon in the late 1980s.

The Arsenal legend told the Times about how he endured a miserable spell with the Eagles early on in his career in Cryodon following his big move out of non-league into England's top division.

Wright revealed that Cannon's time with Palace was ended after he unceremoniously decided to kung-fu kick the striker during one training session - an incident that Wright claims was the culmination of a tonne of stick he received off the Palace legend.

Steve Morton/GettyImages

He explained: "He was oppressive, a bully and he was nasty. He was threatened by me for some reason and I don't know why. He was a horrible bully.

"When I told Steve Coppell [the manager] about it, he said he [Cannon] wouldn't be around for long, that I should carry on doing what I was doing and stand up for myself.

"I wasn't doing it to humiliate him but he kung-fu kicked me in the back. 'I'll never forgive him. It was all about him being the boss, he was oppressive to everybody. 

"After that incident, Coppell said: 'Don't worry, he won't be here much longer'. At the end of that season he was gone. Once Steve saw the kick in the back, he realised and I wasn't afraid to tell him."

Cannon, who made 571 appearances for Palace between 1973 and 1988, hit back at Wright's comments in the same paper and insisted that the player-turned-pundit was a loud mouth who needed to be put in his place.

He remarked: "I wasn't a bully, he was just a loud-mouth upstart.

"I was an experienced centre half and I knew he was going to come up against people worse than me so I gave him a little slap one day and that was the extent of the bullying.

"I'm not interested in Ian Wright, he was an exceptionally good player and if he thinks I bullied him, maybe I bullied him into being a good player."

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