Chelsea lead tributes to former player and coach Ray Wilkins

Ex-Chelsea and England midfielder Ray Wilkins has died aged 61.

Wilkins suffered a heart attack at his home last week and was being treated at St George’s Hospital, Tooting.

During a storied career, Wilkins played for Manchester United, AC Milan and Queens Park Rangers and coached at Chelsea before earning a new legion of fans as a commentator and pundit.

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.

“Our thoughts are with Ray’s wife Jackie, children Ross and Jade, and the rest of his family at this sad time.”

Hillingdon-born Wilkins made his first-team debut against Norwich City at the age of 17 and went on to register 179 league appearances for boyhood club Chelsea.

After relegation in 1978-79, Wilkins moved to Manchester United in an £800,000 deal.

The highlight of his time was scoring in United’s 1983 FA Cup final win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Wilkins would then make a £1.5m move to AC Milan in 1984, also appearing for Paris Saint-Germain and Rangers before settling at Queen park Rangers in 1989.

He would continue to move clubs regularly in his twilight years, appearing for Crystal Palace, Wycombe, Hibernian and Leyton Orient before moving into a coaching role at Chelsea under a succession of managers.

Wilkins appeared for England at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and in total won 84 caps, scoring three goals and captaining the side 10 times.

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