BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: Special Events: New Year Honours  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 00:06 GMT
Jonny Wilkinson MBE
England and Newcastle's Jonny Wilkinson
Wilkinson has been almost faultless for England
Jonny Wilkinson made his England debut as a raw 18-year-old and five years on is one of the best rugby union players in the world.

Now that has been recognised with an MBE.

"I am clearly delighted to have been honoured in this way," Wilkinson told BBC Sport Online.

"It is such a prestigious decoration and it comes as something of a shock, to say the least."

At 23, he becomes the youngest rugby union player to receive a New Year honour, taking the accolade from Welsh legend Gareth Edwards, who was 27.

Wilkinson played a leading role in England's glorious 2002 autumn, which saw victories over Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

With 584 Test points to his name, more than any other English player at an average of more than 15 a game, Wilkinson has accomplished an incredible amount in a short period of time.

He also scored 36 in three Tests for the Lions on their tour Down Under in 2001.

Jonny Wilkinson factfile
Jonny Wilkinson
Age: 23
Place of birth: Surrey, England
Career highlights: England debut at 18; scored an individual tournament record 35 points in England's 80-23 Six Nations thrashing of Italy; voted 2002 Zurich International Rugby Player of the Year

But the points do little justice to Wilkinson's range of talents - earlier in 2002, English fans voted him the greatest fly-half of all time, ahead of Barry John, Michael Lynagh and Grant Fox.

His skills, defensively and offensively, have helped make England one of the most complete rugby sides in the world.

And his modesty and good looks have made him one of English sport's top role models - rugby's equivalent of Michael Owen.

Wilkinson writes a weekly column for BBC Sport Online.

All the details from the 2002 New Year Honours list

Sporting round-up

Profiles

Photo gallery

Have your say

The other honours
Links to more New Year Honours stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more New Year Honours stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales