Friday, October 29, 2010
Former England captain Phil Vickery called time on his illustrious career yesterday after medical advice ruled that he should hang up his well worn boots. Heres a feature from Total Rugby, as well as an interview from yesterday.
After three lower back operations, two shoulder ops, and four career threatening injuries, its now time for Phil to throw in the towel after being advised that if he keeps pushing his body, the risk of serious injury will be high.
Desite that, hes gutted and while remaining positive, the news and reality of a 15 year career coming to an abrupt halt will take some time to sink in.
"I think sportsmen have two deaths one when they retire and one when they actually go," he said in an interview earlier today. "It's not a nice feeling and ultimately I'm a sportsman so in my head it feels like admitting defeat. But I will look back on my career with a lot of happy memories.
Vickery says that the pain he deals with on a day to day basis is something hes learnt to live with, but this latest injury, after picking up a stinger when playing for Wasps last month, signalled that something was seriously wrong.
"This time I knew something wasn't right. I am not scared of pain but the pain level was more than before. Even now just sitting, driving in the car, trying to sleep at night is painful. I sneezed earlier and thought someone had stabbed me in the back of the head. I know I can't carry on like this.
"I'm not afraid of fighting back or proving people wrong but there comes a stage when you have to listen and trust in the experts and it is based on medical reasons that I have been forced to retire.
"There will be no more operations. It is going to need a lifetime of maintenance now, it is not just week to week and month to month. I have never been under any illusions as to what you put your body through. Do I want to know what I will be like in later life? Probably not," he added.
"Rugby has given me everything in my life. It has been a dream run. I look back with real happiness and it's been amazing. Through the sad times, the injuries and the setbacks, my desire and passion for the game has never wavered.
"The more I look back and think about it the more I think what I've done is fantastic and I have a lot of fond memories but, of course, it's sad," he said.
A great man both on and off the pitch, we wish him well in his future endeavours. Below are two videos, the first of which is a recent feature on him by Total Rugby, the second is a short interview from yesterday as the 34 year old gave his thoughts on the unfortunate news.
The Brotherhood of the front row
A chat with Phil Vickery of England, Wasps, and the British & Irish Lions
Stick Phil Vickery on the wing - Great prop try from 2002
Phil Vickery vs Olivier Magne