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Tributes paid to Man Utd star Wilkins after death at age of 61

Ray Wilkins

The former Manchester United and England star Ray Wilkins, who went on forge a successful career as a broadcaster for talkSPORT and Sky Sports after retiring, has died at the age of 61.

Wilkins was rushed to hospital from his home in Cobham, Surrey, last week after suffering a heart attack. Medics placed him in an induced coma but he passed away earlier today.

Wilkins played 160 games for United and won 84 England caps, as well as featuring at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups. He was assistant to Carlo Ancelotti when Chelsea won the Premier League and FA Cup double in the 2009/10 season and also managed QPR, Fulham and the Jordan national team.

United released a statement describing “Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins” as “the consummate midfielder who possessed brilliant footballing skills and a brain to match.”

They added: “He will always be held in high esteem at all the clubs for which he played and in particular Manchester United and Chelsea.” 

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, who played alongside Wilkins for England, tweeted: “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.”

Wilkins underwent a double heart bypass last October, but collapsed after suffering a heart attack last week – having appeared on talkSPORT the same day.

His friend, the talkSPORT Breakfast host Alan Brazil, said: “Only a few months ago Ray went into hospital for a double bypass. Afterwards he said he felt a lot better. But then he had few little complications like bad chest infections. He was never 100%.

“But there was never a time when I thought anything like this would happen to him. Ray is such a lovely guy and you could never meet anyone nicer in football. He’s a real gentleman.”

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