Ex-Blackpool FC and Leicester City player Tommy Wright now fighting crime as a police officer

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Tommy Wright had a 20 year career in football playing for the likes of Leicester City, Blackpool FC, Luton Town, Darlington FC, Corby Town, Brentford FC, and Barnsley FC

Former Blackpool FC and Leicester City footballer Tommy Wright in his police uniform

Former Blackpool FC and Leicester City footballer Tommy Wright in his police uniform (Image: Leicestershire Police / SWNS)

He spent two decades kicking a football around for a living.

But for former Blackpool FC footballer Tommy Wright, those days are now over with a focus on fighting crime after joining the police.

36-year-old Tommy, who scored six goals in 13 games for the Tangerines during a season at the club in 2005, has swapped the football pitch for the blues and twos.

And he says being recognised from his footy days has had its advantages.

Apart from Blackpool, Tommy played Premier League football at Leicester City with 21 appearances over a five year stint. He scored two goals at the Foxes including the winner against bitter rivals Nottingham Forest.

It is that goal that is often brought up when people spot him in his new uniform at Leicestershire Police.

He told the Irish Mirror: “Some people have obviously recognised that I played for Leicester.

“I’ve had it in custody as well, which was so funny.

And then the suspect’s appropriate adult had a Nottingham Forest face covering on, so he said, ‘I’ll tell him about your goal against us’. We had a bit of banter when it was appropriate, which I think can help tense situations like that.

“You see the initial look on their face when they notice and have a quick joke before getting back to the matter.”

Tommy, who was born in Leicester, says he has been recognised at least six times since completing his police training.

On one occasion he pulled over a driver who said: “You alright, Tommy?”

Another job saw the dad of a suspect recognise him from his footballing days.

Tommy made over 250 professional appearances for the likes of FA Cup winners Leicester, Barnsley, ­Brentford, Blackpool, Darlington, Grimsby and ­Aberdeen.

He represented England at the Under 19s European Championships and Under 20s FIFA World Championships.

On his career in football, Tommy said: “It’s fairytale stuff – stuff that you dream of as a boy. I was the fan on the terraces. All I ever wanted to do was to play for Leicester.

“I see that goal in my head like it was yesterday. Jumping the barrier and celebrating with the fans kind of felt fitting for me – because I was one.”

Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “Tommy’s a really good example of a local guy who wants to put something back.

“He’s used to being in a team, he’s used to the disciplines of training, he’s used to learning.

“Those are a really good skills base to put into being a police officer.”