clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Worldwide tributes for the legendary Ray Wilkins

New, comments

Loved and respected wherever he played or coached

Ray Wilkins

Former Chelsea captain and, later, assistant manager Ray Wilkins was much-loved for his kindness, graciousness and warm personality — that’s the message from an outpouring of condolences on social media in the hours since the shocking news of his passing away on Wednesday. Throughout his 25-year playing career followed by another couple decades behind the scenes, on the training ground, or in front of the microphone, Wilkins made many friends and won many admirers.

The outpouring of affection for “Butch” from not just around England, but worldwide has been beyond touching. Here’s just a brief sampling of it.

From journalist Dan Levene, one of the foremost voices online about Chelsea.

From Carlo Ancelotti, his boss in the Double season of 2009-10.

From Eddie Hearn, former owner of Leyton Orient, for whom Wilkins played the final three games of his playing career.

From players he made feel welcome.

And not just at Chelsea.

I will always be proud to say how lucky I am to have been coached, managed and even meet you. If it wasn’t for you I would never have started my career playing football and will never forget going to Manchester United as a YTS trainee to do all the kit and boots in the changing room for the first team squad. 1hr 30 mins before kick off you name the team and I was in it and that’s how my debut went, I didn’t even get to think about it because all you said was your number 18, here are your boots and shin pads , just go and play, have fun and treat it like your over the park with your mates . My mum never had a mobile phone back then because we couldn’t afford anything like that and everything went through her work or home phone. I asked you after the game if I could call home to speak to her, you said use my mobile and call this number, it was my mum on the other end of the line and she said she was outside by the away team bus, I went outside to see her and asked how did you get here because I knew she couldn’t afford it, she told me Ray had got the club to pay for her train ticket to come to the game and then told me Ray got the club to give us our first mobile phone in life during the week and he wanted to surprise me knowing I was making my debut. I was given a chance by Ray Wilkins one of the legends of the game and to this day you are the first person I mention when it comes to football and that will never change. You will be missed so much not just in the football world but as a real human being with such class. Thanks for everything and my thoughts go to all the family. Sleep well Sir Ray Wilkins ⚪️ #raywilkins #legend #football #pureclass #qpr

A post shared by Nigel Quashie (@nigel.quashie) on

Several tributes at AC Milan, for whom Wilkins played from 1984 to 1987, ahead of today’s Derby della Madonnina against Internazionale.

From England teammate Gary Lineker.

From the denizens of The Shed, coming up this weekend.

For those who never had the pleasure of seeing him play, a tribute to his skill.

And finally, the man himself, showing that decency was at the core of his being. RIP, Ray.


Ed.note: Ray Wilkins, born in Hillingdon, about 10 miles from Stamford Bridge, was as Chelsea as they come. Even after leaving to play for the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan, PSG, Rangers, and QPR, not to mention throughout his punditry career, he remained a True Blue. We may not have always agreed with him, but there’s no doubt he always had the best interests of Chelsea in mind.

As Carlo Ancelotti famously wrote in one of his books, Wilkins had Chelsea “flowing in his veins” and without him, “we wouldn’t have won a thing”.

Rest in peace, Ray.

Ray Wilkins 1956-2018

Remembering Ray Wilkins, one of football's true gentlemen. Rest in peace, Ray.

Posted by Chelsea Football Club on Wednesday, April 4, 2018