Ex-England captain Ray Wilkins dies

A wonderful footballer and a delightful man- Wilkins tributes

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

Such was his presence both on and off the field in 1975, following the departure of numerous club's more established stars, Wilkins was made club captain at the tender age of just 18; a role in which he thrived.

Nicknamed "Butch", Wilkins played 84 times for England - captaining the team for 10 games.

The midfield enforcer leaves a legacy of playing at the top level for 24 years at Chelsea, Manchester United, Milan, Queens Park Rangers and Rangers.

In a statement, Chelsea said: "Ray was a popular and much-loved figure among fans, players and staff throughout his long association with the club".

Recently he had been working as a commentator and pundit for Sky Sports News.

Wilkins' former clubs were also quick to remember the midfielder.

In 2014 Wilkins revealed he was suffering from ulcerative colitis and in 2016 he was given a four-year ban for drink driving.

The Edinburgh Reporter sends our condolences to Ray's friends and family.

"Ray was a great football man, well respected and liked by all who knew him".

Gascoigne joined talkSPORT on Thursday to add his personal memories of Ray, explaining how he was one of the biggest inspirations when he was a young aspiring footballer at the start of his career, and later when he became England's talisman. Plus, he wore our country's shirt with pride.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Ray at this sad time".

Ex-Chelsea star Frank Lampard said: "Ray was a great player and an even greater man". Full of kindness and humility, with impeccable manners at all times. I'm not sure they make them like Ray anymore.

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"Deeply saddened to hear that Ray Wilkins has passed away", Lineker wrote on Twitter.

"Ray, you played, coached and managed at the highest level, sharing your knowledge with all who had the pleasure to play with you".

In reflection of his own career, Wilkins once said, "When I finished my career playing for Leyton Orient and Wycombe, I was still waking up every morning still grateful that I was a footballer". He was such a gentleman.

'I am now fully recovered and not gambling, I have my own place, a attractive girlfriend I am about to marry, and I put it down to the time Ray took to give a man that was nothing to him, a stranger and I'm sorry if I'm getting emotional but he was a real, real hero, to me and millions of others. I didn't get a touch.

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