Former England captain Ray Wilkins has sadly passed away today at the age of just 61.
As you may be aware, Wilkins suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday night and was rushed to St George’s hospital in London where he was placed in an induced coma.
Wilkins felt like an ever-present in the English footballing landscape, with his 24-year playing career spanning three decades.
Compared to some of his peers, ‘Butch’ didn’t win that much in terms of silverware – an FA Cup (with Manchester United in 1983) and a Scottish league title (with Rangers in 1988/89) – but the most telling aspect of his value as a player and as a human being are the effusive eulogies being paid of those who had the privilege of playing and working alongside him
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 https://t.co/I1vE8XpegC
— Peter Shilton (@Peter_Shilton) April 4, 2018
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
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 4, 2018
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we have learnt that former England midfielder Ray Wilkins has passed away, aged 61.
The thoughts and condolences of everyone at the PFA are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/pr0JBahJgQ
— PFA (@PFA) April 4, 2018
The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Manchester United are with the family, friends and colleagues of our former midfielder Ray Wilkins, following his tragic passing. pic.twitter.com/38w2MW86eg
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 4, 2018
Goodbye Ray, you will be missed: tonight we’re gonna fight like you taught us!
Ciao Ray, ci mancherai: questa sera lotteremo su ogni pallone come avresti fatto tu!
RIP, Ray Wilkins 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/YLokjuXkvD
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 4, 2018
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. pic.twitter.com/cSDhloOPDZ
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 4, 2018
The very embodiment of ‘captain material’, Wilkins was handed his first armband in 1975 when he was made Chelsea skipper. In his second, he spurred the Blues up and out of the second division at the grand old age of 19.
He held deep and he bossed things – that was what Butch did, before it was tactically de rigueur – and while he wasn’t exactly renowned for his goal-scoring prowess, on the rare occasion he did tuck one away he certainly did so with panache.
Wilkins was one hell of a player and a thoroughly decent, polite, noble chap. He will be sorely missed.
RIP Ray Wilkins, 1956-2018