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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 13:21 GMT
Jonny Wilkinson receives MBE
Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson's drop kick secured England's World Cup victory
England World Cup rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson has received his MBE at Buckingham Palace.

He said meeting the Queen for the second time this week was a "life-changing experience" to treasure.

Wilkinson's drop-kick in the last moments of the rugby final secured England's victory over Australia.

Others receiving honours from the Queen include philanthropist Christopher Ondaatje, athlete Colin Jackson and footballer Shaun Goater.

Wilkinson, 24, dressed in tails, arrived in a chauffeur-driven silver Lexus limousine with his parents and girlfriend, Diana Stewart.

Wilkinson told BBC News the Queen had said it had been "lovely" to meet the England team at the palace following their victory parade in central London on Monday.

And then he had told her they had been so proud to be invited they had not stopped talking about it since.

Meeting the Queen had been a "life-changing experience" and the MBE a "massive surprise", he added.

I feel a pressure that is always there, that I put on myself to perform and to make sure I do not let people down
Jonny Wilkinson

On Tuesday, the car he was in hit a tree in North Yorkshire, but Wilkinson played down the danger.

"It was lovely to hear a lot of people wishing me well - but we just pulled off the road and needed a bit of a ditch to stop the car," he told BBC News.

Wilkinson added he was "desperate" to stress that winning the World Cup had been a team effort.

He denied he had been under any extra individual pressure but added: "I feel a pressure that is always there, that I put on myself to perform and to make sure I do not let people down."

Wilkinson then revealed he had a "role model in dealing with severe pressure every day" - David Beckham.

"The way he lives his life is a credit," he added.

Knee operation

Mr Jackson will receive the CBE for services to sport and Mr Goater will be awarded the MBE for services to sport and young people in Bermuda.

Downing Street has had to defend the decision to knight millionaire Mr Ondaatje for his charity work, as he is a Labour Party supporter.

TV chef Loyd Grossman will receive the OBE for services to patient care - especially hospital catering.

The investiture ceremony is to take place days before the Queen has an operation on her knee.




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