I can still remember the few minutes in 2003 when my house literally shook with the sound of my dad’s voice. From what I remember we all danced around the room, my mum cried, and it seemed like our family celebrated for months. That’s the effect that Jonny’s one kick had.
I remember the tenseness watching the TV that day. At full-time with both teams on a score of 14 the match entered extra time. Nerves were frayed as both England and Australia successfully kicked penalties. Then England had possession, the ball passed to Jonny Wilkinson and with his right boot it flew over the posts. The most stunning drop-goal, the most iconic moment in English rugby.
I was a mere 9 (soon to be 10) years old at the time, and even now I can feel a little teary watching those two minutes of footage. began my first real crush, I idolized Jonny for years. It fired up the rugby supporter in me – I’d been to a few matches before but after this I was far more interested.
I’m sure it’s probably a bit of a cliche to say, but Jonny’s kick has definitely been my rugby highlight over the years, it just has to be my entry in the #toprugbymoments competition. There have been many more though! Watching Martin Johnson having his head stitched a few yards away from me before continuing the game. Being squashed against the barriers of the terraces in tense moments. I bought my dad a pint for the first time at Welford Road, as they announced my eighteenth birthday over loudspeaker. Then there was the ‘friendly banter’ at school – being a Leicester Tigers supporting girl in a Boy’s School in Northampton was never going to be easy. And of course, converting my boyfriend to support the best team…
I’ve not managed to get to an actual rugby match for nearly four years – university has put a stop to that! Unfortunately tickets are expensive, and getting up to Leicester (because Welford Road is my holy ground) also isn’t cheap. And then there’s been the disappointment of the World Cup ballot. Applications in for every single game, and not one was successful.
Instead you’ll find me watching
England important matches from the comfort of my sofa. I’ll hope to have a cider in hand (as soon as I’m off this damn antibiotics!), a good pie-and-chips for after (standard rugby fare!).
Are you a fan of rugby? Who will you be supporting this World Cup?