RAY WILKINS 1956 - 2018

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

RAY WILKINS 1956 - 2018

Football world mourns an England legend

The world of football was united in grief Wednesday night after former England captain Ray Wilkins died in hospital aged 61. The former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan star collapsed last week after a heart attack. Premier League clubs on Saturday shared a moment of silence in honor of the memory of Ray Wilkins.

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League 

Fans, officials and football players took part in a minute of applause for Ray Wilkins who passed away earlier in the week ahead of the Premier League Manchester Derby match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Manchester, England.

Wilkins, a married father of two, had since been in an induced coma at St George's Hospital in south London. His family revealed the devastating news yesterday.

A statement said: "It is with great sadness we announce that Raymond Colin Wilkins passed away this morning. We would 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."

Wilkins aged 61, known as Butch, was one of the most gifted midfielders of his generation. He won 84 England caps and captained his country 10 times. He began his career at Chelsea, where he was appointed club captain at just 18, before successful spells at Manchester United, AC Milan, Paris St-Germain, Rangers, QPR and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea v Aston Villa - Premier League

Ray Wilkins Assistant manager of Aston Villa shares a joke with Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on October 17, 2015 in London, England.

After his retirement in 1997 he became a manager, taking charge of QPR, Fulham and the Jordan national team. He also worked as a coach at Chelsea and Aston Villa. Wilkins was a popular TV pundit with talk-SPORT and Sky Sports. Wilkins, who bravely battled health issues including ulcerative colitis, 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. Ray Wilkins played 84 times for England scoring three goals. Ray was a great football man - liked by all who knew him. Tributes poured in from some of the biggest names in football around the world.

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was among those who paid tribute.

"I am very sad to hear the news about Ray and send my deepest sympathies to his family," said Sir Alex Ferguson. "Ray was a great football man, well respected and liked by all who knew him. "Ray was an impressive football talent and had a fantastic career representing some of the biggest clubs in the world. I know that he will be missed by all."

Former United and England superstar David Beckham said: "Incredibly sad to wake up to the news that Ray has passed away."A man that I've always looked up to as a United fan and a player. Plus, he wore our country's shirt with pride. "Our thoughts are with your family and friends."

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League

Football clubs and famous names have paid tribute to Ray Wilkins after the Chelsea legend passed away

Ex-Chelsea star Frank Lampard said: "Ray was a great player and an even greater man. "He was full of kindness and Ray pictured humility, with impeccable manners at all times. He had respect and time for everyone and was a mentor and friend. "I'm not sure they make them like Ray any more. You will be sorely missed."

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker, a former England 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 supportive. I'll be forever grateful. Thoughts are with his family."

England v Wales - Women's World Cup Qualifier

Former England star Paul Gascoigne said: "Such a great loss. He was such a gentleman. An unbelievable player. I recall playing against him. I didn't get a touch. He was brilliant."

Buy England World Cup 2018 tickets, Manchester United tickets, and Chelsea tickets to watch Ray Wilkins' titan former clubs play in live action.

West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City - Premier League

Wilkins (fourth left) and Hoddle (second right) after winning the European Under 18 Championship in 1975

Wilkins (fourth left) and the England side after winning the European Under 18 Championship in 1975

Chelsea v Manchester United - FA Community Shield

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti with assistant manager Ray Wilkins after the FA Community Shield match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 8, 2010 in London, England.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League