Former England captain Ray Wilkins dies at 61

Ray Wilkins

Wilkins, who played for 11 teams in his club career, including Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain, suffered a cardiac arrest last week.

'I never got to say thank you to, not really, anyone who phones in with a memory and saying thank you for giving us Ray Wilkins'.

Chelsea said they were "devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach". "Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed", the English Premier League club said on Twitter.

Former England and Chelsea legend Ray Wilkins passed away aged 61 on Wednesday.

"We were always so grateful for his time and support".

He appeared regularly as a co-commentator and pundit on Sky Sports News and talkSPORT.

He was an FA Cup victor with Manchester United in 1983, scoring a memorable goal in the 2-2 draw with Brighton (United won the replay) and was a Scottish title victor with Rangers in 1989.

Along with coaching roles at the Blues, he also managed QPR, Fulham and the Jordan national team.

Former Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti, who worked with Wilkins at the London club's coaching staff, said: "Today is a very sad day, we have lost a fantastic person and a good friend".

Former team-mates, managers and colleagues all sent touching tributes and well wishes after news of Ray's condition broke on Friday.

A humble and generous man, the humanity which illuminated his life made him one of the best loved footballers of his generation.

In his global career he is probably best known for becoming the first England player to be sent off in a World Cup.

But Chelsea were relegated again and the debt-ridden club cashed in by selling Wilkins to Manchester United for £800,000 in 1979.

"I remember years ago I was playing against Ray and the papers were all writing, 'who will play for England - Gazza or Wilkins?'"

"No teammate was more helpful and supportive". You will be missed so much not just in the football world but as a real human being with such class. Thanks for everything and my thoughts go to all the family.

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