Former Leeds United boss Wilkinson pays tribute to the late Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins

Ray Wilkins. PIC: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Ray Wilkins. PIC: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
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Former Leeds United championship-winning manager, Howard Wilkinson, has paid tribute to Ray Wilkins, who died today, aged 61.

Wlkinson, the League Managers Association chairman, said: “Ray lived and breathed football his whole career.

Former Leeds United manager, Howard Wilkinson. PIC: Simon Hulme

Former Leeds United manager, Howard Wilkinson. PIC: Simon Hulme

“As a player, he was a leader on the pitch and he instilled his beliefs and values into his coaching, helping a vast number of players understand what it meant to win games of football at the highest level.”

Wilkins, who won 84 England caps, had been treated in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London since Friday following a cardiac arrest, and earlier today the hospital confirmed he had died.

Wilkins became the fourth player sent off while playing for England when he was dismissed during the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico in a game against Morocco.

The midfielder started his career there and spent six years with the Blues, while also having numerous stints as assistant manager. On one occasion, he led the side on a caretaker basis.

Ray Wilkins shares a joke with then-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. PIC: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

Ray Wilkins shares a joke with then-Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. PIC: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire

During his career as a player, Wilkins won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983, scoring a memorable goal in the first tie against Brighton at Wembley, which ended 2-2. He also won the Scottish title with Rangers in 1989.

Wilkinson added: “Ray has been a stalwart of the LMA for many years. His energy and love of the game were his biggest strengths.

“As well as being a manager in his own right, he became one of the most supportive and trusted assistant managers in the Premier League, providing a sounding board to many managers in the past 20 years and achieving great successes with his boyhood club, Chelsea.

“Many things come to mind when I think of Ray but, above all, no matter what the circumstances he remained a true gentleman.”

Marcelo Bielsa.

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