'The Raging Bull' made his England debut against Wales in 1998 and went on to represent his country at the following year's World Cup. A member of England's triumphant starting XV in the World Cup Final in Sydney four years later, Vickery helped banish some of the disappointment of the Lions' third Test defeat to the Wallabies in the same city in 2001.
Vickery was expected to become a double Lions tourist when Sir Clive Woodward selected his squad for the 2005 tour to New Zealand but injury preventing him from travelling to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Now with London Wasps, a club he joined in 2006 after 11 years with Gloucester, Vickey is a leading contender for the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa.
Phil Vickery's factfile
Date of birth: March 14 1976
Clubs: Gloucester, London Wasps
International caps: England 64
Height: 6ft 3in (1.90m)
Weight: 19 stone 8lbs (122kg)
Vickery's Lions lowdown
Lions debut: Versus Western Australia, June 8, 2001
Lions Tests: 3 (All three Tests in 2001)
Lions non-Test appearances: 3
Total Lions appearances: 6
Lions points: 0
Most recent Lions appearance: Versus Australia, Sydney, July 14, 2001
Phil Vickery packs down with Keith Wood (centre) and Tom Smith (right)
On the 2001 tour
"It was a massive event. In 2001, I was 24 so still reasonably young and it was something I always dreamed of. I watched Lions tours as a young man and I never really thought I would be involved in one.
"It was fantastic, playing with Keith Wood and Tommy Smith. Obviously Dai Young was around and Scott Gibbs came out in the end, Brian O'Driscoll etc. There were a lot of big names and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, although ultimately it finished in disappointment with losing the final Test match and losing the series."
On that famous first Test win over the Wallabies
"The first Test in Brisbane at The Gabba is probably one of my greatest rugby memories and experiences. It was just phenomenal and I'd never experienced anything like it. The support, the euphoria, the expectations, the pressure, the history and everything that surrounds the Lions makes it just a phenomenal thing to be involved in."
A varied tour: Vickery enjoys a trip to the set of Neighbours in 2001
On a special bond with the travelling support
"You couldn't go anywhere without being stopped. I think I've got a pretty good relationship with all supporters, whether they are English, Scottish, Irish or Welsh but being embraced and being part of that with the Lions was truly a privilege. It was something I thoroughly enjoyed and was very pleased to be a part of."
On possible inclusion in 2009
"Sometimes you have to keep a reality check on what you do. We're just very, very lucky in our jobs, in what we do here at London Wasps and playing with England and with the opportunities I've had in plaiting for the Lions.
"You should never lose sight of what's important to you and, ultimately, what's important to me is playing for London Wasps, being part of a successful team and a successful club. If that happens, hopefully, I'll be in with an opportunity to play for my country and if that goes well then, hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to play with the Lions. I'll never think any differently, never have done and never will."
Vickery has captained his country but is concentrating on his club form
On Ian McGeechan
"It's great for Geech. It's fantastic that he's got the opportunity and it's fantastic that London Wasps have given him the opportunity to go. If all the players and management that go can be as enthusiastic and passionate about the game of rugby and particularly about the Lions as he is, it will be a very successful tour."