Former England and Chelsea midfielder Ray Wilkins has died in hospital at the age of 61.

Wilkins, who also played for Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers and QPR, was being treated at St George’s Hospital in London following cardiac arrest.

His family thanked “Ray’s friends, colleagues and members of the public” for the many messages of goodwill.

Chelsea said they were “devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach”.

The club added: “Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed.”

Wilkins’ family said: “It is with great sadness we announce that Raymond Colin Wilkins passed away this morning.

“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 had been working as a TV and radio pundit, had suffered poor health in recent years and had double bypass heart surgery in July 2017.

He also admitted struggling with alcohol problems in the past and went through a five-week rehabilitation programme in the Priory Hospital in Woking in 2016 following a four-year ban for drink-driving.

As a player he made 84 appearances for England and captained his country 10 times, while he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and the Scottish league title with Rangers in 1989.

Wilkins had spells as manager of QPR, Fulham and the Jordan national team.

He was also Chelsea assistant coach from 1998-2000 and then 2008 until 2010, when he worked alongside Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.

Before Wednesday evening’s Milan derby, former AC Milan team-mate Franco Baresi led a minute’s applause in honour of Wilkins, and laid a bouquet of flowers and a ‘Wilkins 8’ Milan shirt in front of the famous Curva Sud stand.

Blogger/Football Analyst at Sportskick
Michael Okoye is an ardent football fan as well as a writer. He lives somewhere in West Africa with Lions and Leopards for company. He takes interest in football and detests mediocrity in sports writing. He has a massive man crush on Juan Mata. A Chelsea fan and a great lover of wits and sarcasm.
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