Jonny Wilkinson has announced his immediate retirement from international rugby. My sadness is not about his departure, but about the timing.
I remember his first England appearance in 1998 at Twickenham, the youngest player ever to win a cap.
I was there for his monumental moment-of-glory in Sydney, 22nd November 2003, when he kicked England to victory as world champions. But I was also there for the end: 10th September 2011.
For me, his selection for the Rugby World Cup 2011 was a mistake: for England, for Jonny, and for his many, many admirers. He failed to find his form in Dunedin against Argentina. It was upsetting to watch our once-hero reduced to kicking only 3 goals out of 8 attempts, to hear the barracking from Kiwi fans, and to see his talent fade.
A fine player, a complex man, he won’t be forgotten.