Jonny Wilkinson – My Hero

Posted on May 30, 2014 in Francis Christie News, Leadership, Learning & Development, Personal Development

Jonny Wilkinson, Drop Goal, 2003

The Winning Move

Jonny Wilkinson was my hero.

He crowned a magnificent career when he led Toulon to the ‘Top 14’ title by beating Castres in his final match as a professional player.

The previous weekend, he led Toulon in crushing the Saracens by 23-6 in the final of the Heineken Cup. He kicked and played a fantastic game and contributed by scoring 13 points.

He won our hearts with the ‘story-book’ finish in the final minutes of the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final in Australia. I can remember sitting with my friends, and gripping the edge of the sofa, as the clock counted down to the end of the game.  Then, as Jonny kicked for goal, leaping to my feet and screaming for ‘England’. See:

When Jonny Wilkinson slotted over that right-footed drop-goal it was a fitting finale to a tremendous contest on a wet night in Sydney. When that ball went over the bar, we all stood, we all cheered and we all loved him.

The Final Goal

The Final Goal

Why does it matter? It matters because he has been such an inspiring character – a role-model for so many people. I’ve followed his highs and lows, from the peak of the 2003 World Cup

Final through the years of injury that followed.

What I will remember and have learned from him is about his attitude.  Last October, he was sent on in the final 20 minutes of a tough, tightly fought game with Toulouse. The outcome was likely to be decided by one kick and who would you want to be taking that kick? In fact, Jonny had three opportunities and he missed each one. Toulon lost by one point. It wasn’t a disaster.

When the team returned to the dressing room, Jonny sat and cried. His team mates tried to re-assure him. They respected him but they were also in awe of him. To quote David Walsh “What they found hard to figure is why he should care so much”.

I am inspired by the fact that Jonny Wilkinson does care. The fact is that you do care and you do want to excel in your game, Jonny, makes me care. It makes me try harder. It make me want to excel in ‘my game’.

Thank you, Jonny. Thank you for the attitude and values that you showed and lived through the game of rugby.  You’re still my hero!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.