Imagine Rugby Blogs

World Cup winner calls it a day

Sad news as former England captain Phil Vickery retires

Posted Oct 28, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Phil Vickery

World Cup winning England star Phil Vickery has announced his retirement for the sport after suffering yet another neck injury.
This sad news comes after the 34-year-old Wasps prop was told that the risk of serious injury was too great after his latest setback. He had recovered from four previous neck operations.
The former England captain had been a star turn for his club and country, and turned out for the British and Irish Lions too. He will be remembered for his courageous, inspiring displays in the front row of the pack and fans will always be endeared to him as he was a 100% player at all times.
He is as sad to leave the sport as us fans are to see him go and he told the BBC: “I will look back on my career with a lot of happy memories – it has been amazing.
“I’m not afraid of fighting back or proving people wrong but there comes a stage when you have to listen and trust in the experts and it is based on medical reasons that I have been forced to retire.
“My love and passion for the game is still there, which is the most disappointing thing for me – I wanted to end my career playing with the Wasps.
“I’m not finishing because I don’t want it anymore. It’s just enough is enough. I’ve got to accept that as a sportsman.”
These words show that Vickery is an intelligent and humble man who played rugby purely for the love of the game. There aren’t many sportspeople out there who can claim to have those qualities.
There’s also not many people who had his ability when out on the pitch. He was a ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ kind of player, not taking any nonsense out on the field and constantly inspiring his teammates on to better things.
The crowd at Kingsholm on September the 25th when Wasps played Gloucester will have a special memory that they should now cherish – this great player’s final ever professional match. It was also the venue of his top-flight career too.
Vickery won 73 caps for England and the highlight was the 2003 World Cup triumph in Australia where he played in every game, scoring his first try against Samoa.
It’s a sad day for Rugby Union, and he will be a player greatly missed by crowds up and down the country. We wish you all the best Phil.

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