The world of football was left in mourning on Wednesday afternoon after news filtered through that Chelsea legend Ray Wilkins has passed away at the age of 61 following a recent cardiac arrest and fall at his home in Surrey.
Wilkins was handed the Chelsea captaincy at the age of just 18 in 1975 and later played for Manchester United, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Rangers, QPR and Crystal Palace during a long and storied career that lasted 24 years and spanned three decades.
He later became a respected coach, managing Fulham and QPR, before serving as an assistant boss during three spells at Chelsea, and was a popular television pundit and media personality.
Emotional tributes from clubs, former team-mates and colleagues, fans and others have since flooded social media.
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. #RIPRay— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 4, 2018
With a "handkerchief in his jacket pocket and shoes from Carnaby Street", MU players were unsure of Ray Wilkins when he joined in '79. "He never scored or made the killer pass," said Gordon McQueen. "Yet the season he left to go to AC Milan, he was fantastic, our best player” RIP— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) April 4, 2018
So sorry to hear that Ray Wilkins has died. More than a very good footballer, a kind and generous man who always made me feel so welcome in the football family when I started working in the industry. My thoughts are with his family.— Gabby Logan (@GabbyLogan) April 4, 2018