Jonny Wilkinson saluted those people who helped get him through the tough times after he smashed through the 1,000 points barrier for England.
England fly-half Wilkinson kicked three penalties and two conversions as England edged out RBS 6 Nations hosts Italy 23-19 in Rome.
And his overall points tally for England and the British Lions now stands at 1,056, just 34 behind Welshman and current world record holder Neil Jenkins.
Wilkinson reached four figures in his 67th Test for England, an international career which stalled for more than three years following the 2003 World Cup because of repeated injury setbacks.
He said: “It is amazing to think I have got to that figure, because I have to remind myself I have been around long enough to do so.
“I have had a lot of injuries, and it has been the support I’ve received from other players and guys like Steve Black and John Fletcher at Newcastle.
“These are the people who got me through the tough times, so I owe them my thanks.”
Wilkinson also had words of praise for Danny Cipriani, who replaced him 13 minutes from time and saw a kick charged down that led to Italy claiming a late converted try.
Substitute Italian scrum-half Simon Picone proved the beneficiary, but Wilkinson highlighted the Wasps youngster’s impressive temperament.
He added: “You could tell he quickly got it sorted in his head.
“The very next ball, he took it blind and kicked it long into the same space. It closed out the game, and we were crying out for someone to close out the game last week.
“As you run off and shake hands with a guy of 20 (Cipriani) who is taking your place, it makes you think he’s the future.’”
England now move on to a Paris appointment with RBS 6 Nations favourites France on February 23, and despite Italy “winning” the second period 13-3, stand-in skipper Steve Borthwick highlighted several red rose positives.
Bath lock Borthwick, who took over leadership duties from stomach bug victim Phil Vickery, said: “It is a very good result, one we would have taken at the start of the day.
“We are a side that is growing. The guys will learn from the experience of games like this, and it will make us stronger.”