Jonny Wilkinson will not receive a knighthood in this year’s honors list. He has been left red-faced after sharing a tweet that thanked those who had seemed to decide that he would be awarded the honor. It is a disappointment for many fans who believed that they would see him become Sir Jonny for his charitable efforts this year.
A “well-placed source” had reportedly stated that it was a certainty that Wilkinson was going to get a knighthood this year. Many fans and England teammates took to social media to congratulate the man, leading to the thank you tweet. He already has an OBE for his 2003 World Cup victory in Australia. He was awarded Sports Personality of the Year shortly before that honor due to the drop goal that secured the England victory against Australia.
In the tweet to say thanks, the former England rugby player mentioned that there were many more deserving people who would not get recognition. He thanked them for the “lessons in life” they share, as well as the messages from his friends, family and fans.
However, he did come back with a tweet rather quickly before the list was confirmed. He said that he might not be on it after all and congratulated those that were on it. It turns out that his name was left off the list, and Wilkinson will not be receiving a knighthood. There is always the chance next year.
Wilkinson has had an extremely successful 17-year career. While he had been plagued with injuries during his later years, he gained 97 caps in total, with four appearances in World Cups. He also gained four Six nations titles and was part of two teams that won the Heineken Cup. He has gained fans around the world, but more specifically in England and France where he has played for local teams. Since retiring in September, he focused on charity work. He supports a number of different charities, including the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
There are rugby players on the honors list, even if Wilkinson is not. Two of the England women’s team are being appointed MBEs for their success this year. The women’s team took home its World Cup trophy with a 21-9 win against Canada in August. The team was awarded the Sports Team of the Year during this year’s Sports Personality of the Year event. Sarah Hunter, vice-captain and back-row forward, and Rochelle Clarke, England’s second-most capped player and the prop for the team, will receive the honors. Captain Katy McLean already holds the honor.
A number of other sporting personalities have been awarded with various honors. Wendy Sly and Steve Cram are among the list. Paddy Barnes, who took gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games for Northern Ireland is being awarded with an MBE, while the chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board David Collier is being awarded an OBE. However, it is a disappointing year for Wilkinson fans who will not see their hero being award a knighthood for his charity efforts after all.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Gill Cooper