Tuesday 28 January 2020

'A wonderful footballer and a delightful man' - Football world pays tribute to Ray Wilkins after his death at 61

Ray Wilkins.
Ray Wilkins.

Max Ryan

Tributes have been pouring in from far and wide for Ray Wilkins, the former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder who passed away today aged 61.

Former teammates of Wilkins, who suffered a cardiac arrest last Saturday, have taken to Twitter to pay their respects and share their memories of the legendary midfielder.

Gary Lineker wrote about how kind Wilkins was during his time with England:

"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."

Rio Ferdinand recalled watching Wilkins in his Queen’s Park Rangers days, where he played between 1989 and 1996.

"RIP Ray Wilkins," he said.

"Always so humble and softly spoken whenever I saw him. Genuine lovely guy. Watched him live at Loftus road many times for QPR. What a great passer & teacher of the game for any young kids who watched him."

Alan Shearer added: "So sad to hear the news about Ray Wilkins. He lived for and loved football. I was lucky enough to have worked with him and he was always a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by so many."

Former Ireland international Clinton Morrison tweeted: "RIP Ray Wilkins. Absolutely gutted he was a great mentor to me and a lovely person. Thoughts go out to his family."

Ruud Gullit, who replaced Wilkins at AC Milan and later shared a studio with him as a pundit with Sky Sports, tweeted a photo of them together with the simple message, "I will miss you my friend."

Wilkins’ former Rangers and England teammate Trevor Steven also had his say on the passing of the former England captain.

"Sad beyond belief. RIP Ray. My first captain for the England team. Thoughts are with Jackie and the family."

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