It was a shame today to hear the news that Phil Vickery has had to retire from all levels of Rugby Union due to yet another neck injury. To have come back from four neck/back injuries already is a remarkable achievement given the position he plays in, sadly this latest one has done for him.
Although it’s disappointing news, in a way I’m glad that Vickery has listened to the medical advice on offer. I get the impression that he is the kind of bloke who would have played on and put his future health at risk, such is his desire and love for the game.
The front row is an unforgiving place and to have seen Vickery wrongly carry on would not have been good for himself or the sport. There would be no worse sight than seeing a great English World Champion suffering later in life because he didn’t know when to call it a day.
In the cold light of day when he looks back at what he has achieved he has had a very successful career. He was a World Cup winner in 2003, captained England to the 2007 World Cup final, Heineken Cup winner in 2007, Premiership winner in 2008, has 5 Lions appearences and 73 England caps.
Not a bad roll call really!
Vickery is an intelligent man and is well spoken, I’m sure a coaching role or media career within the game won’t be too far away should he choose to go down that route.
‘The Raging Bull’ is a true England legend.