The Raging Bull Retires

28 10 2010

Phil Vickery

A mention for one of our favourite rugby players over the past ten years today. Phil Vickery, lately of Wasps and England, will (according to the Daily Telegraph) announce his immediate retirement from all rugby later today, forced by yet another neck injury.

A top quality prop, an excellent leader and, according to those in the know, a thoroughly decent man. Certainly in any interviews we saw with him he was never anything other than brutally honest – an admirable trait in this day and age of spin doctors and PR trained players.

Our best memories of Vickery stem from the Clive Woodward years when he was probably in the top two or three tighthead props in the world and was a large part of England’s world dominance in the two or three years at the turn of the Millienium. Players like Johnson, Wilkinson and Dallaglio got many of the plaudits, but it was often Vickery’s quiet but devastating work at scrum time and at the breakdown that ensured England had a solid platform from which to work. Never a show boater and never the first player you noticed on the field but, as with many unsung heroes, Vickery was always crucial to what ever team he was playing in.

Triple Stripe L/S Rugby Jersey image

Not the most natural of models...

Apparently in his retirement he will devote his time between some sort of consultative role at Wasps whilst also focusing on his ‘Raging Bull‘ clothing brand. One thing we do suggest for Vickery however, is that he doesn’t use himself as a model for too many more of the advertising shots on his website… Great prop that he was he looks as if he doesn’t have any elbows in these shots and is stiff as a board… See right!

So thank you to the great man. Over to you, Dan Cole…





3 responses

28 10 2010

Tis a great shame, but has been coming for a long while.
Your point does also highlight the obvious dirth of World Class players in comparison to what we had to call on at the start of the Millennium.
I always felt that it was inevitable that we would struggle to maintain the standard we set in 2003, given the impending losses of the genuine World Class players that made up our World Class team. Whilst we have a magnitude of good solid players available, very few have stepped up to the mark and performed regularly at test level which is why, harking back to an earlier article of yours, 2 wins in the Autumn internationals is the realistic, if not inspring target set.

28 10 2010

* Multitude.

28 10 2010

He represented the Lions and England with courage, ferocity and passion. A legend that will be missed.

My best memory of Vickery was his comeback in the third Lions test last year; after a torrid time in the first test, he came back and showed us exactly the man that he was.

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