Martin Johnson factfile

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1970: Born March 9, Solihull. Attends Welland Park School and the Robert Smyth Upper School in Market Harborough.

Martin Johnson: a career in pictures

1987: Wins England Schools selection.

1988: Joins Leicester Youth.

1989: Gains England Colts honours, playing in same side as Damian Hopley and Steve Ojomoh. Makes senior Leicester debut.

1990: Goes to New Zealand, playing for College Old Boys and King Country in the Inter Provincial Championship second division.

1991: Impresses New Zealand selectors so much that he is chosen for two-week Colts tour of Australia, alongside the likes of Va'aiga Tuigamala, John Timu and Blair Larsen.

September - On return from New Zealand, wins England Under-21 honours, playing in second row in 94-0 rout of Belgium.

1992: Features for England B against France B and Italy B.

1993: His big breakthrough. Had been expecting to represent England A against France A at Leicester, when diverted to Twickenham after Wade Dooley withdraws from senior side through injury. Acquits himself well as England win 16-15.

May - Helps Leicester win the Pilkington Cup, scoring try in final against Harlequins.

June - Although he returns to A team duties, Dooley's injury on Lions tour of New Zealand means an unexpected call-up. Plays in final two Tests.

1994: Plays first full Five Nations campaign, but then concussed during England tour of South Africa, forcing him to return home early. Replaced by Simon Shaw.

1995: Maintains ever-present run in national side, enjoying Grand Slam glory, and is only England forward to play throughout six-match World Cup campaign in South Africa.

1996: Another unbroken Five Nations campaign, going on to mark 25th cap with first England try against Italy at Twickenham in November.

1997: Plays for Leicester in European Cup final against Brive at Cardiff Arms Park, and takes England cap tally to 30 as he helps them win a third successive Triple Crown.

Also captains Leicester on several occasions, with Dean Richards struggling with injury.

April 2 - Named Lions captain for South Africa tour, emulating previous second row forwards who led Lions there in 1974 (Willie John McBride) and 1980 (Bill Beaumont).

June - Leads from the front as the Lions win the first two Tests, taking the series 2-1 to huge acclaim from an estimated 10,000 travelling support.

August - Appointed Leicester Tigers captain.

November - Suspended for one Test for throwing a punch at Justin Marshall in the 25-8 defeat by New Zealand at Old Trafford.

1998: Plays in all four Five Nations matches as England finish second behind France in the final table.

Misses disastrous tour of the southern hemisphere after having a groin operation.

1999: Appears to stamp on the throat of John Leslie in the Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland at Twickenham but only receives a yellow card from Irish referee David McHugh.

June - Appointed England captain by coach Clive Woodward after incumbent Lawrence Dallaglio admits taking drugs to a newspaper journalist.

October - Skippers England to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, where they are eventually beaten by South Africa in Paris.

2000: Sits out the entire Six Nations campaign with an Achilles injury but returns to action as Leicester clinch the Premiership title.

June - In outstanding form as England have the better of a 1-1 series draw in South Africa.

November - Captains England to successive wins over Australia, Argentina and South Africa.

December - Banned for 35 days by the Rugby Football Union after an off-the-ball challenge on Duncan McRae in a Tetley's Bitter Cup tie against Saracens.

2001: January - Loses appeal against ban.

February - Named England captain for the Six Nations opener against Wales. Leads his team to big wins against Wales, Italy, Scotland and France, increasing their winning run to eight matches. Grand Slam decider against Ireland postponed because of outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

March - Leicester once again crowned Premiership champions.

April - Leads his club side to the Heineken Cup final with a 19-15 win over Gloucester.

April 25 - Named as Lions captain for the tour to Australia.

May - Completes a memorable Tigers trophy treble, leading his team to victory over Bath in the Zurich Championship final before a magnificent win over Stade Francais in Paris gives them the Heineken Cup for the first time.

June - Becomes the first player in history to captain the Lions on two different tours, when he leads them in a three-Test series against world champions Australia. Lions win first Test in Brisbane, then lose the next two.

October - Breaks bone in his hand during Leicester's Premiership clash at Northampton. Misses delayed Grand Slam decider against Ireland in Dublin. England lose without him.

November - Again misses England's autumn Test wins against Australia and Romania because of injury, but returns as captain in 29-9 victory over South Africa.

2002: February 9 - Sin-binned during Leicester's league win at Saracens, although television footage shows him punching Robbie Russell, leaving the Saracens hooker requiring six stitches to a cut beneath his left eye.

February 12 - Retains his England place for Six Nations clash against Ireland, admits he was wrong to punch Russell, claiming an over-reaction in the heat of a game.

February 13 - Summoned to appear before a RFU disciplinary panel in Bristol on February 21.

February 16 - Leads England for the 22nd time, overtaking Bill Beaumont as his country's second most prolific captain, in 45-11 victory over Ireland.

February 21 - Johnson is banned for three weeks at an RFU hearing which lasts over seven-and-a-half hours, finishing just before 1am.

February 22 - Appeals against ban on the basis that the RFU have no right to effectively punish him twice for the same offence, leaving him free to play on.

March 2 - Controversially named as England skipper by coach Clive Woodward for the crunch Six Nations clash with France, Johnson turns in an outstanding display, but England still lose 20-15.

March 5 - Johnson's appeal against his RFU disciplinary hearing is dismissed. His 21-day suspension stands.

April 13 - Leads Leicester to fourth successive Zurich Premiership title with 20-12 victory over Newcastle at Welford Road.

May 26 - Lifts the Heineken Cup for the second successive year as Leicester beat Munster 15-9 in Cardiff.

2003: March 30 - Leads England to a 42-6 victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road to win the Six Nations Grand Slam.

June 14 - Captains England to a 15-13 win against New Zealand in Wellington - their first success against the All Blacks on New Zealand soil for 30 years.

June 21 - On the field again as the national side beat Australia 25-14 - their first-ever win in Australia.

November 22: Becomes the first England captain to lift a World Cup after a dramatic 20-17 victory over hosts Australia in Sydney.

December 31: It is announced he will receive a CBE in the 2004 New Year Honours list.

January 11 - England coach Sir Clive Woodward admits, in a newspaper interview, that the World Cup-winning side will not play together again, further fuelling speculation Johnson is about to retire from international rugby.

January 17 - Confirms his retirement from international rugby at Leicester's Heineken Cup game with Ulster.

January 26 - Announces he will retire from club rugby at the end of the season.

April 24 - On the losing side as Leicester are knocked out of the Heineken Cup semi-finals by Toulouse.

May 14 - Plays last game of professional rugby in Leicester's 39-14 defeat to Wasps in the Zurich Grand Final.

2006: November - Tipped as a potential replacement for sacked England head coach Andy Robinson, with the job eventually going to Brian Ashton.

2007: April - Johnson reveals he has been approached over a role with the RFU but he insists "the time isn't right".

November - Johnson again distances himself from a role at the RFU.

2008: April 16 - Named England manager with effect from July 1.