'A fantastic role model and true ambassador'

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The Independent Online

I can't speak highly enough of Martin... He stands down now, having achieved everything there is to achieve as an England player, and I hope he will be involved in some other capacity in the international team in the future.

Sir Clive Woodward, England coach

He's the No 1 rugby captain in the world, and has been for some time. He was a star at the World Cup, but it was evident before then. He got better and better with age, and he got better and better as a player, which is remarkable.

Graham Henry, former Wales and current New Zealand coach

Martin Johnson probably didn't get as much credit during the World Cup as he should have done for his outstanding leadership. Personally, I felt that he was the heart and soul of the English team, and as disappointed as I was to lose the final, I'm glad for him that he finished his career on top.

George Gregan, Australia captain

Will England miss him? Of course they will. To me, there is no doubt that he has been the outstanding world figure in rugby over the past few years. He has a presence with his own team and the opposition. There are very few players I would rate in that category.

Ian McGeechan, former Lions coach

Nobody in the game has done more than Johnno... He is a legendary figure who has been the catalyst of a fantastic England side.

Scott Quinnell, former Lions team-mate

I've been playing with him at Leicester since 1990. He's been a fantastic role model for youngsters, and a true ambassador for the sport.

Neil Back, Leicester and England team-mate

I salute his career as a telling statement of a man whose immense playing attributes were further enhanced by his leadership qualities. The behind-the-scenes influence he contributed as captain of Leicester, England and the Lions are his enduring legacy.

Eddie O'Sullivan, Ireland coach