A FORMER England rugby player is to become a Patron of Salisbury charity Southern Spinal Injuries Trust (SSIT).

Jonathan Webb is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who combined his medical training with a first class rugby career. His medical and sporting background means that he has good understanding of the potential risks and implications of spinal injuries.

During his rugby career, Mr Webb played for Bristol and Bath rugby clubs and played 33 tests for England, winning two Five Nations Grand Slams and reaching the Rugby World Cup Final in 1991. He scored 296 points for his country in total. He was voted Rothmans Rugby Player of the Year in 1992 and became England’s most capped full back.

He said: “I am delighted to become a patron of the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust. My rugby career means that I am all too aware of the risks of injury and the devastating impact it can have on an individual, their family and friends.

“I have seen firsthand the good work that SSIT does supporting the regional spinal injuries centre in Salisbury and individuals with spinal cord injury in the region.”

In 2013, the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust provided over £49,000 in grants to people living with spinal cord injury in the south and south west. The charity also funded over £30,000 worth of equipment at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury.

Retiring from rugby in 1993, Mr Webb is an orthopaedic surgeon at Nuffield Chesterfield Hospital in Bristol and is one of the founders of The Fortius Clinic in London. He also provides medical support for a number of regional sports teams including Bristol Rugby Club, Bristol City Football Club and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.