Wright signs on free transfer

West Ham United is delighted to confirm the signing of England international goalkeeper Richard Wright on a free transfer.

The 29-year-old former Ipswich Town, Arsenal and Everton stopper was a free agent after leaving Goodison Park at the end of last season, and becomes Alan Curbishley's third summer arrival.

Born in Ipswich in November 1977, Richard joined his hometown club as a schoolboy and progressed to make his first team debut in the old First Division at the age of just 18, in a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City in August 1996.

After establishing himself as a regular in the team almost immediately, the young keeper went on to suffer defeat in three successive play-off semi-finals before making it fourth time lucky in May 2000 - saving a penalty as Ipswich beat Barnsley at Wembley to reach the Premier League.

Just five days after his promotion triumph, Richard made his full international debut for England in a 2-1 friendly win over Malta - saving another penalty to further enhance his growing reputation as one of the country's most promising young goalkeepers and earn him a place in the Euro 2000 finals squad.

After one more season at Portman Road - in which he helped lead the newly-promoted Tractor Boys to a top five finish and UEFA Cup qualification - Richard earned a £6million move to Arsenal in the summer of 2001 and went on to make 22 league and cup appearances in the 2001-02 season, including four in the Champions League, winning a Premiership winners' medal.

However, after just a solitary season in north London, the 6ft 2ins stopper was on the move again, this time in a £3.5million switch to Everton. Sadly, knee and ankle injuries blighted much of his career on Merseyside, and the arrival of Tim Howard on loan from Manchester United last season restricted him to just two appearances in his final campaign at Goodison.

Having arrived at Upton Park to provide competition for current number one Robert Green, Richard will be aiming to get his Premier League career back on track under Alan Curbishley.

*Exclusive reaction from Alan Curbishley and Richard Wright to follow tomorrow morning on whufc.com