In its edition of November 21, 2003 the Herald reported: “The BBC will be on hand to cover Farnham Rugby Club supporting Jonny Wilkinson as he aims to put his golden boots to winning use against Australia in the Rugby World Cup final.”

The report continued: “As the greatest sporting moment since 1966 beckons, former England World Cup rugby stars Brian Moore and Martin Bayfield are also expected at Farnham to cheer on the boys.

“Residents are invited to join them at a special marquee being erected at the club’s Wrecclesham base, with the Sydney match to be shown live on a huge TV screen.”

For those newly-arrived or who just do not follow sport, Jonny Wilkinson was a product of the town’s junior rugby section and was at the time considered the finest fly-half in the world, attracting unprecedented media hype for the former Lord Wandsworth College boy.

“The England camp are certainly not taking any chances with him, supplying six bodyguards to prevent him being mobbed by fans,” the Herald’s report continued.

A strong contingent from Farnham made the trip Down Under to follow Jonny’s progress.

Speaking to the Herald after the semi-final, Farnham RFC club secretary Andy Rubio said: “It was an amazing atmosphere and was just like a home game, with fans singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot and Go Jonny, Go, Go, Go. I have almost lost my voice from cheering so loud!”

The travelling party didn’t leave disappointed as England won the final by 20-17 with Wilkinson famously kicking the winning drop goal.

The headlines in the following editions of the Herald included ‘Match-winner Wilko delights his ecstatic Farnham fans’ and ‘Wilkinson puts England on top of world rugby’.

This is the latest in a series of articles marking the 50th anniversary of the dissolution of Farnham Urban District Council.