Jonny Wilkinson is acknowledged as one of international rugby’s greatest ever fly-halves representing England and the British & Irish Lions with great distinction between 1998 and 2011.
Wilkinson’s defining moment arrived at the 2003 Rugby World Cup when he dropped kicked the winning points in the last minute of extra time to break Australia’s hearts in an unforgettable final in Sydney. It was England’s first and only World Cup triumph.
He crowned an amazing year in 2003 by being named the IRB International Player of the Year, and BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Nobody has scored more points in the Rugby World Cup than Wilkinson (277) and he is currently the only player to have scored in two World Cup Finals, in 2003 and 2007.
In addition to the Webb Ellis Trophy, Wilkinson’s trophy cabinet also holds four Six Nations crowns (including one Grand Slam), two Heineken Cups (won with Toulon) and a Premiership title earned at Newcastle.
He is also a Lions legend, scoring 67 points in six Tests against Australia (2001) and New Zealand (2005).
Her Majesty The Queen is a big fan. The fly-half was awarded an MBE in 2002, an OBE in 2004, and in 2015 he was promoted to a CBE for his services to Rugby Union.
England’s record points scorer will be remembered as one of the game’s greatest ever kickers, but he was also an all-rounder that contributed wonderfully in attack and defence. If he hadn’t suffered as many serious injuries Wilkinson would have smashed the 100-cap barrier, instead of ending his illustrious career on 92.