Ray Wilkins, pictured in October 2017, has died at the age of 61 following a heart attack
Former England international Ray Wilkins has died in hospital at the age of 61.
Wilkins was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London last week after suffering a cardiac arrest and falling at his home.
He was placed in an induced coma and passed away five days later.
A statement issued by St George’s Hospital on behalf of Wilkins’ family read: ‘It is with great sadness we announce that Raymond Colin Wilkins passed away this morning.
‘We would like to thank St George’s staff for the amazing work they have done to care for our beloved Ray.
‘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, who bravely battled poor health including ulcerative colitis over the last few years, was given the all clear after a double heart bypass operation last July.
Two years ago he checked into the Priory Hospital in Woking for a five-week rehabilitation programme after being banned from driving for four years for drink-driving.
Yet the popular former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder continued to work in the media on a regular basis and was held in the highest regard by everyone in football.
Wilkins leaves behind wife Jackie (pictured with him in 1979), with whom he had two children
Former footballer Wilkins pictured with his wife Jackie, son Ross and the FA Cup in 1983
A young Ross wearing the colours of AC Milan after Wilkins signed for the Italian side in 1984
Born in Hillingdon, Wilkins came through the ranks at his boyhood club Chelsea and made his first-team debut against Norwich City at the age of 17 in 1973.
He would go on to play 179 league matches for the club over the next six years having been appointed club captain at just 18.
After relegation in 1978-79, Chelsea accepted an offer of £800,000 from Manchester United and Wilkins was on his way north.
He made 160 league appearances for the Old Trafford club and helped them win the FA Cup in 1983, defeating Brighton and Hove Albion in the final.
In 1984, United sold Wilkins to Italian giants Milan for £1.5million and he spent three years with the club before a brief spell at Paris Saint-Germain and two years at Rangers.
Wilkins returned to London in 1989, spending five seasons with Queens Park Rangers and amassing over 150 league appearances.
He also represented Crystal Palace, Wycombe, Hibernian, Millwall and Leyton Orient in the twilight of his playing career.
Wilkins was called up to play for England by Don Revie in 1976, making his debut against Italy during a tournament in the United States.
He quickly became an established name in the team, helping England qualify for the 1980 European Championships, their first finals in a decade.
In all, Wilkins won 84 caps for his country, captaining the side on 10 occasions and scoring three goals.
RAY WILKINS FACTFILE
Born: September 14, 1956
Died: April 4, 2018
Playing career: Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Rangers, QPR, Crystal Palace, Wycombe Wanderers, Hibernian, Millwall, Leyton Orient
Honours: FA Cup (1983), FA Charity Shield (1983), Scottish League Cup (1988), Scottish Premier Division (1989)
England caps: 84 (10 as captain)
International debut: v Italy in Yankee Stadium in May 1976
International goals: 3
1994-96 Queens Park Rangers
1998-2000 Chelsea (assistant)
2000-2002 Watford (assistant)
2003-2005 Millwall (assistant)
2004-2007 England U21 (assistant)
2008-2010 Chelsea (assistant)
2013-2014 Fulham (assistant)
2015 Aston Villa (assistant)
Wilkins is regarded as a legend at Chelsea, having played for and coached at Stamford Bridge
Ex-footballer Wilkins, pictured at the World Cup in 1986, (bottom right) won 84 England caps
Wilkins in England action against Wales in the 1979 British Home International Championships
Chelsea led the tributes to Wilkins, writing 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.’
The PFA added: ‘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.’
Manchester United tweeted: ‘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.’
Leyton Orient, another of his former clubs, said: ‘The Club are saddened to hear of the passing of Ray Wilkins. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. #LOFC #OnlyOneOrient’
Millwall wrote: ‘Everyone at Millwall Football Club is deeply saddened by the passing of former Lions assistant manager Ray Wilkins. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.’
Wilkins is pictured (left) playing internationally for England and (right) for AC Milan in Italy
Wilkins is pictured above in his Chelsea shirt in 1976 (left) and 1977 (right)
Wilkins pictured playing for Manchester United as he tries to tackle Diego Maradona in 1984
Wilkins (left) with Mustafa Merry of Morocco in action during the 1986 World Cup in Mexico
Gary Lineker, a former team-mate, said: ‘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 supp