Former England Star Ray Wilkins Dies Aged 61

Former England and Chelsea footballer Ray Wilkins has died after suffering a cardiac arrest last week.

A statement from the 61-year-old’s family confirmed that he passed away on Wednesday morning.

They thanked staff at St George’s Hospital in southwest London, where the ex-Blues captain had been placed in an induced coma on Friday.

The statement said: “We would also like to say thank you for the many goodwill messages we have received from Ray’s friends, colleagues, and members of the public.

“Ray leaves behind his loving wife, Jackie, daughter Jade, son Ross, and his beautiful grandchildren, Oliver, Frankie, Ava, Freddie, Jake and Archie.

“We are asking for privacy at this very difficult time.”

Wilkins suffered a cardiac arrest after a fall.

He earned 84 England caps during his playing days, making him the 14th most capped Englishman of all time.

The man known by his childhood nickname ‘Butch’ played for 12 different clubs and was on the coaching staff of several more, but is commonly associated with Chelsea, where he began his career.

Ray Wilkins of England and Mustafa Merry of Morocco in action during the 1986 FIFA World Cup Group F match on 6 June 1986 at the Tecnologico Stadium in Monterey, Mexico

The club wrote on Twitter: “Everybody associated with Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach, Ray Wilkins.

“Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed.”

Wilkins had spells at Manchester United, AC Milan and Rangers, and latterly worked as a pundit for Sky Sports and talkSPORT.

During his career as a player, Wilkins won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983, scoring a memorable goal in the first tie against Brighton at Wembley, which ended 2-2.

He also won the Scottish title with Rangers in 1989.

The Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Clarke said: “I am deeply saddened to hear this news. Ray Wilkins was a warm and kind-hearted man, who always had time for others. Through his broadcast work later in life he shared his love and knowledge of the game with millions of football fans.”

Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to hear that Ray Wilkins has passed away. A wonderful footballer and a delightful man.

“It was a pleasure to have played alongside him with England. No teammate was more helpful and supportive. I’ll be forever grateful. Thoughts are with his family. #RIPRay”

Ray Wilkins playing for England in 1984

Alan Shearer tweeted: “So sad to hear the news about Ray Wilkins. He lived for and loved football. I was lucky enough to have worked with him and he was always a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by so many. #RIPRay”

After retiring from playing, Wilkins managed Fulham before working as a coach at Chelsea, Watford and Millwall, but it was following his return to Chelsea that he enjoyed his biggest success.

As assistant to Carlo Ancelotti, he played a part in Chelsea’s first Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010, leading to the Italian describing Wilkins as “a real blue-blood” in his autobiography.

  • Wilkins with his brother, Graham, who also played for Chelsea, as did their brother, Steve

After leaving Stamford Bridge, Wilkins worked on the coaching staff at Fulham and Aston Villa and also managed the Jordan national team before moving into TV work.

Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton tweeted: “I’m devastated to receive this sad news of my former team mate Ray Wilkins a great footballer and well respected by the players rip a very sad day for me only laughing together a few weeks ago.”