Facts about Jonny Wilkinson
Jonny Wilkinson Biography
Already one of the most famous players in international professional rugby, Jonny Wilkinson was catapulted to stardom when his drop goal with seconds left in extra time won England the World Cup in 2003.
Wilkinson made his debut in 1998, joining the Newcastle Falcons (his local club) and England Rugby Union. A fly-half, he gained a reputation for accurate kicking and fierce tackling; off the field he had a reputation for practicing incessantly and avoiding publicity.
After his dramatic role in the 2003 World Cup victory, Wilkinson became a national hero in England, was named the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and awarded the Order of the British Empire, or OBE. (He was named a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE, in 2015.)
In 2004 he released an autobiography, My World, and was named captain of England’s team. He left the Falcons in 2009 to join the French professional club Toulon, where he played until his retirement after the 2014 season.
At his retirement, The Guardian noted: “Wilkinson retires as one of five men to score 1,000 points in international rugby, with his total of 1,246 second to New Zealand’s Dan Carter.