It is with great sadness that we learned that Ray Wilkins has died after suffering a heart attack recently.
The former Chelsea captain, caretaker, assistant manager and coach lived through some of the clubs hardest times as a player and some of the most glorious times as part of the coaching team.
He will be fondly remembered as a Chelsea legend by fans young and old for his contribution to the history of our great club.
Ray Wilkins Chelsea Captain
To my father’s generation, he is a legend on the pitch having come through the Chelsea academy to the first team at a time when the golden Chelsea generation of the early seventies was fading away and austerity and struggle were the new club order.
He made his debut at 17 and became captain of the team at just 18 years old. He became the heart of the team of the mid to late 70’s battling relegation and winning promotion with the club.
It was with great reluctance that mounting debts saw Wilkins leave Stamford Bridge as a player in 1979 and go on to play for Manchester United.
Ray Wilkins Chelsea Assistant Manager
To my generation, Ray Wilkins will be remembered for his role as a coach and assistant manager. He was a coach during the reign of Gianluca Vialli and when he was sacked was caretaker manager for just one game (that he won).
A role he would also fill when Luis Felipe Scolari was sacked that also saw him victorious making him arguably the most successful manager in our history.
Wilkins will most be remembered for his coaching during the time under Carlo Ancelotti, where he was acknowledged by the Italian as a key cog in the double winning season of 2009-2010.
Unfortunately, something behind the scenes happened and he was unceremoniously cast aside and sacked by the club (reportedly without the consent of Ancelotti). This highlighted his importance to the team that never really recovered leading to the sacking of Ancelotti in the summer.
A true gentleman he was a respected member of the football community with an unparalleled understanding of the game.
He will truly be missed. RIP Ray Wilkins 1956 – 2018