April 4, 2018

'Great Player, Even Greater Man'  (Sky Sports)

Ray Wilkins and Guus HiddinkChelsea great Frank Lampard says he is "not sure they make them like Ray Wilkins anymore" after the death of the former England skipper.

Wilkins passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 61 after suffering a heart attack last week and tributes have been pouring in.

The Premier League have confirmed clubs will hold a "moment's" applause before this weekend's games.

The man known as 'Butch' was synonymous with Chelsea, having begun his career with the Blues and gone on to be an assistant manager of the 2010 double-winning team.

Lampard, Chelsea's all-time top scorer, wrote on Instagram: "Devastated that Ray Wilkins has passed away.

"He was a great player and an even greater man. He had respect and time for everyone and to me he was a mentor and a friend.

"I am not sure they make them like Ray anymore."

Wilkins is also remembered with huge fondness at Manchester United, where he made over 150 appearances and was a part of the FA Cup-winning 1983 team.

United boss Jose Mourinho said: "I am deeply saddened to hear that Ray Wilkins has been taken from us at such a young age.

"Ray will be remembered as a fantastic footballer but more importantly he will be remembered as a really true gentleman.

"I was lucky enough to be in his company on many occasions and his love of football always shone through. He will be missed throughout the footballing world."

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

Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "I am deeply saddened to hear that Ray Wilkins has passed away.

"He will be remembered by all of our supporters as an outstanding player and a lovely man by all of the staff that worked with him. His passion for the game never diminished."

Wilkins also played 84 times for England, going to two World Cups, and he played with the current England manager Gareth Southgate during a stint at Crystal Palace.

Southgate said: "When he played with us, you could immediately see that his technical ability to play the ball was phenomenal.

"In the modern game, those attributes would have been appreciated far more than they were at that time, so he really was a top, top player.

"He would have been one of the earliest to go abroad and play in the Italian league. At the time, it was at a really high level, so being able to transition into a club like AC Milan and be as popular as he was there speaks volumes for his ability.

"Ray was a great ambassador for the game, a proud Englishman who loved playing for his country and an absolute gent - a class act."

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