ning brunette to help him get over his painful marriage split, The People can reveal. Former England and Arsenal ace Wrighty, 40, enjoyed a happy evening out on Thursday with the mystery woman, known only as Nancy. The couple appeared to be getting close as they visited a pub and shared a pizza meal - before saying good-bye at the end of the night. Ian, now a TV presenter and football pundit, announced sadly last month that he and wife Debbie, 35, had parted after 11 years. He moved out of their #3 million home in Croydon, South London, and into a bachelor flat in posh Hampstead, North London. Then he met Nancy through mutual friends - and she has been a shoulder to cry on as he comes to terms with a painful separation from his children Stacy, ten and Bobbi-Lee, five. A friend said: Ians really upset about his marriage breakdown but realises life has to go on. His main concern is for the welfare of his kids, who he adores. He loves the company of women but he has been avoiding relationships since his separation from Debbie. He and Debbie still get on well and he doesnt want to do anything that will upset
that. Ian and Nancy spent Thursday evening in The Cow pub in North London. It is a favourite haunt of the former striker who broke Arsenals all-time goal scoring record. They left the pub separately and met up back at her flat, where she dropped off the #30,000 Chrysler Crossfire sports car he has lent her. After enjoying a cosy chat they moved on to a nearby Pizza Express. They arrived in Wrightys #80,000 metallic silver Aston Martin. One diner said: Ian and Nancy looked very pally together, laughing and joking constantly. It was good to see him putting his family worries behind him for once. The star, who was wearing a Pringle jumper, jeans, scarf and blue hat, was recognised immediately But the diner said: He didnt seem embarrassed to be seen with Nancy. Hes now able to go out with whoever he chooses. She looked very attractive, with long, dark, curly hair. And she seemed charmed by his company. Ian was also seen leaving Nancys home on Wednesday, clutching his mobile phone and keys. A close friend of Nancy admitted: She and Wrighty are close. But she knows Ian is still cut up. She doesnt want to do anything that will upset his children and, like Ian, is taking things slowly. Both are regulars in The Cow and have a lot of mutual friends. Ian left home in April. He said recently: Im obviously gutted that I felt I had to make the decision to take time away from home. Were no longer living together and the reasons for this are private. Im not seeing anyone though. His marriage first hit the rocks in 1997, when he was caught cheating with burger bar waitress Tina Hodgson. Debbie forgave him, only to be hit by revelations of yet another affair, with BBC radio researcher Venetia Williamson-Noble.Speaking about his affairs, Ian said: Its only when you come to lose the things that are most precious to you that you realise that everything else is meaningless. While Wrightys private
life has h
it problems, his professional life is on a high. Last night millions watched him host the National Lottery draw. He is a team captain on the BBC quiz They Think Its All Over and presents Saturday night show Wright Around The World. When asked yesterday about his friendship with Nancy, he said: We drink in the same pub and were introduced by a mutual friend. We shared a pizza on Thursday night and are occasional friends
. Nancy said at her home in West Hampstead: I have no comment. Do you know Wrightys mystery girl? Call our Newsdesk on: 0207 293 3201.