Ray Wilkins has died aged 61 after suffering a cardiac arrest last week, with tributes now pouring in from the footballing world for a much-loved former Chelsea, Manchester United and England star.
The player-turned-pundit remained an active figure in football right up until his untimely death, having held coaching positions with Aston Villa and Fulham in recent years and regularly appearing on TV and radio to offer analysis and opinion on the game.
A fine player at his peak and always a well-informed, articulate pundit, Wilkins will clearly be sorely missed by all those involved in English football and beyond.
BBC Sport have confirmed Wilkins’ passing in a London hospital, where he’d been treated for a cardiac arrest for the last five days.
Tributes are now pouring in on Twitter, while BBC Sport also quote a club statement from Chelsea, who said they were ‘devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach’, and adding: ‘Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed.’
Wilkins also played for Manchester United, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in a distinguished career that saw him win 84 caps for England, whom he also had the honour of captaining on ten occasions.
R.I.P Ray “Butch” Wilkins a true gentleman of the game! You always had time for people and gave sound advice! ???
— Kevin Campbell (@1kevincampbell) April 4, 2018
Sorry to hear about the passing of a wonderful player and coach, true gentleman of international football. He had played at some of the greatest teams on the planet at a time when not many Englishmen were applying their trade aboard! RIP Raymond Colin Wilkins MBE! pic.twitter.com/wplOyGuL07
— Sol Campbell (@SolManOfficial) April 4, 2018
RIP Ray Wilkins
Always so humble & softly spoken whenever I saw him.
Genuine lovely guy.
Watched him live at Loftus road many times for QPR. What a great passer & teacher of the game for any young kids who watched him pic.twitter.com/4wprZwXiuC
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) April 4, 2018
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
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) April 4, 2018
RIP Ray Wilkins.
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) April 4, 2018
Really sad news about my former coach Ray Wilkins. At the tender age of 15 he put his arm around me and helped me during my transition with the first team. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Rest In Peace Ray.??
— Nathaniel Chalobah (@chalobah) April 4, 2018
Raymond Colin Wilkins MBE (14 September 1956 – 4 April 2018)
One of the loveliest human beings I had the honour to meet, a true gentleman pic.twitter.com/rmfGTG4oBF
— David James (@jamosfoundation) April 4, 2018
Heartbreaking news about Ray Wilkins. A lovely man.Thoughts go out to his family. This is so so sad.
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) April 4, 2018
Absolutely devastated to hear Ray Wilkins has passed away. Great Guy, football legend. RIP Ray
— Ray Parlour (@RealRomfordPele) April 4, 2018
Sad day . R.I.P Ray … a gentleman and a great football player ! pic.twitter.com/4eraeQQSo2
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) April 4, 2018