Michael Skinner (rugby union)
Michael Gordon Skinner (born 26 November 1958), also known as Mickey, Mick, and Mike, is a former English rugby union player who played at flanker for Harlequins, Blackheath and England. His nickname was "Mick the Munch" because of his propensity to inflict bone-shaking tackles on the opposition. He was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He attended Walbottle Grammar School.
Skinner is world-renowned for "The Tackle", his hit on Marc Cecillon in England's 1991 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France in Paris. The match, which England won 19-10, was one of the most brutal in World Cup history.
Prior to making his England debut Skinner was required as a late addition to the England squad for the inaugural World Cup in 1987. The R.F.U. however could not locate him which prompted an appeal from Desmond Lynam live on the BBC's Grandstand programme for Skinner to get in touch as his services were required.
During his career Skinner won a total of 21 caps for England. He made his England debut on 16 January 1988 in England's 10-9 defeat to France in Paris during the Five Nations. His final game for England was on 7 March 1992 against Wales at Twickenham as part of the Five Nations tournament.
In 1994, Skinner helped unveil the commemorative plaque to mark the founding of the Blackheath Rugby Club in 1858.
Since leaving the game, Skinner has worked as a media pundit and became famous amongst fans for his interesting choices of waistcoat. He also featured in a video in which he introduces some of rugby's best tackles. He is an active supporter of Wooden Spoon charity.
He has a daughter, Emily Skinner, who was born on 4 July 1995. He also has three sons: Max, and Zak and Barnie who are twins.
- Brendan Gallagher: "When Mick Skinner took the wind out of France." The Daily Telegraph online, 9:28am BST 10 October 2007. Retrieved 13/10/07.
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