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English Premier League

Former England captain Ray Wilkins dies

Nicknamed ‘Butch’ the midfielder also played for Manchester United, Chelsea and AC Milan and also managed QPR, Fulham and Jordan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2018, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2018, 9:51pm

Ray Wilkins, an elegant midfielder who captained England’s national soccer team and played for illustrious teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and AC Milan in a 24-year career, died Wednesday. He was 61.

St George’s Hospital said in a statement on behalf of Wilkins’ family that he died on Wednesday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest last week.

Nicknamed “Butch,” Wilkins played 84 times for England – captaining the team for 10 games. He also played for Rangers and Queens Park Rangers, among others, in a club career that ended in 1997.

He went on to coach QPR and Fulham, as well as having a brief spell in charge of Jordan’s national team. He was assistant coach at a slew of clubs, most notably Chelsea from 2008-10.

Wilkins was a popular figure within the game and his soothing voice and insight made him stand out as a commentator on British TV and radio in recent years.

One of Wilkins’ most famous moments as a player came in 1986 when he became the first England player to be sent off in a World Cup after throwing the ball at a referee during a group game against Morocco.

As a player, he won the FA Cup with Man United in 1983 and the Scottish league title with Rangers in 1989. Wilkins is survived by his wife, Jackie, two children and several grandchildren.