Martin Johnson - a great rugby life

Do you think Johnson retiring from England was the right thing to do?

  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not Sure

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  • Don't care about "Egg-Chasing"

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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City Fan

Well-Known Member
1970: Martin Osborne Johnson born March 9 in Solihull, West Midlands to Dave and Hilary Johnson. His father played rugby for Orrell, whilst his mother was an accomplished 'ultra' marathon runner - races of 100km distance.

1987: Selected to play England 18 Group rugby whilst still at school.

1989: Joins Leicester Tigers' senior squad before travel to New Zealand for his GAP year. The young lock's talents in a local match catch the eye of none other than All Black legend Colin 'Pinetree' Meads, who persuades the travelling Englishman to try out for the King Country side. Johnson does and makes the side.

1990: Meads was not alone in his admiration; after impressing in his season with King Country, Johnson is selected for the New Zealand Colts squad to tour Australia the following year, coming up against the likes of future arch-adversary John Eales.

Later in the same year, Johnson returns to England and played his first senior game for the Tigers. Johnson recalls that he received a 'welcoming' punch to the face from a nameless assailant during the first line-out of the game. As the debutant tried to collect his thoughts, the bear-like arm of former England No.8 and present Leicester coach Dean Richards curled round the novice's neck. "If they don't knock that bloke out at the next line-out you will never gain any respect in this sport," growled the seasoned Tiger. The apprentice duly heeded the masters advice and never took another backwards step in his career.

1992: The Johnson star continues to rise with selection for England 'B' and the Barbarians.

1993: Johnson wins his first full England cap on January 16 against France when he joins the side as a last-minute replacement for the injured Wade Dooley. England squeeze home to a 16-15 victory over Les Bleus.

Later that year, with just one cap to his name, Johnson is flown to New Zealand to join the British and Irish Lions after Dooley returns to Britain following the death of his father.

Johnson wins his second England cap in November, helping England to a 15-9 home win over the visiting All Blacks. The rare win catapults the young Tiger up the pecking-order and he becomes England's first-choice lock for the duration of the next decade.

1995: Part of the England RWC squad that progresses to the semi-finals in South Africa where they are blown away by Jonah Lomu. They end up in fourth place after losing to France in the third/fourth-place play-off.

Helps Leicester Tigers win the English league title.

1997: Awarded Leicester captaincy; soon afterwards Johnson is entrusted with leading the Lions in South Africa. Johnson's elevation surprises some commentators, but it proves to be a masterstroke. His non-verbal professional approach is key to a historic 2-1 series win. Following the tour he is awarded an OBE for services to rugby.

Leads the Tigers to victory in the English Cup.

1998: Johnson skippers England for the first time (against Holland), but England coach Clive Woodward hands the permanent England captaincy to fellow forward Lawrence Dallaglio.

1999: Dallaglio is forced to resign after revelations concerning his private life surface in a British tabloid. Johnson is handed the captain's armband, starting with a brief tour of Australia - where England lost 22-15 to the Wallabies in Sydney. He also captains England at the 1999 RWC in Wales, where they are bundled out in the quarter-finals by the Springboks.

Leads the Tigers to the English League title.

2000: Johnson survives his first real test of leadership test when the England team opt to strike on the eve of a Test against Argentina over a long-running dispute with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) concerning match fees and individual image rights. Johnson and senior players manage to hammer out a better deal; the strike is called off and the Test saved.

Leads the Tigers to the English League title.

2001: Leads the Lions during their Australian tour, becoming the first ever player to captain the famous touring side twice - but the Lions lose the series 2-1.

Leads the Tigers to the English League title and victory in the European Cup.

2002: Allegations of 'dirty' play are levelled at Johnson after he is handed a four-week ban for punching Scottish hooker Robbie Russell in a Premiership game. Johnson causes a media storm by appealing against his ban, thus making himself available for England's Six Nations clash against France, but misses England's next championship match against Wales after having the appeal turned down.

Leads the Tigers to the English League title and victory in the European Cup.

2003: Finally leads England to the elusive Grand Slam title, but is criticised in some quarters of the media for allegedly snubbing the President of the Republic of Ireland when introducing her to his team. He later captained England on their unbeaten tour of New Zealand and Australia - England's first win in NZ since 1973 and their first-ever win over the Wallabies on Australian soil.

Returns to Australia for the 2003 Rugby World Cup and plays in each of England's games (Georgia, South Africa, Samoa, Uruguay, Wales, France, Australia) before leading the English to a 20-17 victory over the hosts and holders in the Final. Johnson becomes the first player from the northern hemisphere to hoist the Webb Ellis trophy.

2004: Awarded the CBE in the 2004 New Year honours, before announcing his retirement from international rugby on Saturday, January 17.
Martin Osborne Johnson
osborne?? what a silly name.
my uncle was very good freinds with here and was in the same running club as here!

i think he has made the right decision! he's ending on a high rather than draging it out and then being remembered as a has been!
Yeah I also think he has made the right decision. He wanted to bow out at the top. Depending on how the Tigers have done at the end of the season, I think Johnno might retire from Rugby altogether at the end of the season.
Couldn't care either way. I've always considered him a bit of a thug. :)
Billy Boy said:
Couldn't care either way. I've always considered him a bit of a thug. :)

That punch was horrendous, nasty thug IMO.
I was in Julies Cycles on Monday and he was aswell. Got chatting about mountain bike courses and I have to say he was a true gent. Big fcuker though
City Fan said:
1970: ..Martin Osborne Johnson born March 9 in Solihull, West Midlands ....

holy crap! the old bastard's younger than me!
:cry: :(

at least i still have my looks....
Saw a pic of him after the world cup final in one of those new mags. He looked like he'd had a few rounds with someone tasty. :lol:
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