Michael Vaughan: Led England to Ashes success

A majestic batsman who hit remarkable heights during a 12-month purple patch, Vaughan will forever be remembered as the man who helped end England's long wait to regain the miniature urn during the summer of 2005.

Born in Manchester, he ended up playing for Yorkshire after his family moved to Sheffield. He captained England Under 19s and went on to make his Test debut in 1999 in South Africa.

It couldn't have been a bigger baptism of fire - by the time he faced his first ball the tourists were 2-4 in Johannesburg. While his 33 was not enough to rescue the situation, it did prove he had both the technique and temperament to play at the highest level.

His position in the order fluctuated until he became settled at the top, leading to an amazing year that started with runs galore against Sri Lanka and India on home soil.

However, it was his performances Down Under in a losing cause that proved the pinnacle of his career - in five Tests he scored 633 runs including three centuries. Such an amazing stretch of form saw him climb to the top of the ICC batting rankings.

Having been given the one-day job in 2002, Vaughan took over as Test captain the following year, quickly building on the solid foundations laid by predecessor Nasser Hussain in tandem with coach Duncan Fletcher.

The highlight of his reign came in '05 when he became the first English skipper since Mike Gatting in 1987 to get his hands on the Ashes. The skipper played a major part in the success, his man-management skills and coolness under pressure being crucial in a tense battle that went down to the wire.

Sadly Vaughan didn't get the chance to defend the Ashes Down Under. The first of many serious knee injuries ruled him out of the tour and although he did eventually return, the stresses of the job and his own struggles with the bat resulted in him stepping down in 2008.

Although he held out hope of a return in time for one last crack at the Australians, the right-hander was forced to realise his time had come and gone when he found himself in danger of being dropped by his county. Just under two weeks before the start of the Ashes, he announced his retirement.