World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson marries in secret ceremony in France
29 OCTOBER 2013
England's rugby World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson married his long-term girlfriend Shelley Jenkins in the south of France on Monday.
The 34-year-old wed his bride, 31, in a "secret" ceremony at the town hall in the Riviera resort of Bandol, which was attended by just two guests including his mother, Philippa.
A photograph posted on Jonny's Facebook page revealed the smiling newlyweds on their big day.The bride turned her back on tradition, opting for a beautiful purple dress to the knee, complete with embroidered detail and long sleeves.
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Her blonde hair was in loose waves, and nude heels completed the pretty outfit. The delighted groom was handsome in a grey suit and striped tie.
Local mayor Christian Palix, who officiated, said it was a "very small, intimate affair", adding that the rugby hero was "an iconic figure in the sporting world with great human qualities".
A source involved in the wedding said: "It was all carried out in conditions of utmost secrecy. They are a lovely couple who did not want to make a fuss," reported Mail Online.
The fly-half, who plays for Toulon, met his new wife in 2005, just after Jonny split from Sky Sports presenter Diana Stewart.
Scaffolding company heiress Shelley had been working as a waitress in a cocktail bar in Majorca, with her twin sister Tracey, when she met the handsome rugby player on a beach on the Spanish island. The pair have been together since.
Shelley moved to France with her hero when he joined Toulon in May 2009 after 12 years with Newcastle.
The local mayor said of the newlyweds: "I wish them great happiness in our town and to symbolise this great happiness, I offered them an olive.
"This is because an olive is a symbol of happiness, and because Jonny Wilkinson is not a man who drinks alcohol, not even Bandol (the wine), so the olives are preferable to grapes".
Jonny earned himself the title of national hero when he scored the last-minute drop goal against Australia, making England world champions.