Jonny Wilkinson is to be knighted in the New Year honors. The honors list is a tradition every year, and sees many sports personalities and celebrities being named. A number of big names have knelt before the Queen of Great Britain and received the title of either Sir or Dame.
Wilkinson will receive the title for his charity work over recent years. However, he is best known for being the Fly Half in the England rugby squad, inspiring the team to victory in the 2003 Sydney World Cup games. Many fans over the years have hoped for him to get this title, similarly to Sir Chris Hoy and Dame Kelly Holmes, both Olympic athletes.
He has previously been on the New Year honors list. In 2004, he was awarded an OBE for his performance in the World Cup the year before. It was during the last minute that the rugby player kicked the winning drop-goal, sealing the victory against home team Australia during the final. He had also kicked all points in the 24-7 victory against France in the semi-finals.
Despite having a questionable time some years ago due to injuries, he came back to his true form before announcing his retirement from all rugby union in May 2014. Before joining French team Toulon in 2009, he played with the Newcastle Falcons for 12 seasons. He had previously announced his retirement from international games before this.
However, Wilkinson is said to be knighted in the New Year honors list for his charity work in both Britain and France. A source told the Daily Mirror that “he thoroughly deserves this.” He is “a shining example” to all around the world, and is one of the best sportsmen in Britain.
During his rugby career, he scored over 1,000 points while playing for England in 2008. Only five men including the sportsman have been able to secure that during their international career, and he is the only one to score points in two different finals of rugby World Cup games.
The honors list has not been officially named, and it is still possibly that this is a rumor. The official list will be unveiled on Wednesday, and it is not the first time Wilkinson has been reportedly on the list. He is not the only person to be rumored. Joan Collins is rumored to become a dame for her 60 years within the acting industry. She is best known for her roles in Benidorm and Dynasty.
James Corden has been rumored to be on the list. This is not for a knighthood, but for an OBE. Other names include Lewis Hamilton, who won his second Formula One champion this year, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Ester Rantzen is also rumored to be on the list for her charity work.
It is a major accomplishment to get onto the honors list, whether it is for an OBE, MBE or a knighthood. Wilkinson will join the small number of people to be knighted for his contributions to society if the rumors are true about this year’s New Year honors list.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Gill Cooper