A stalwart for both Chelsea FC and Queens Park Rangers, Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins was a popular figure both as a player and coach in his long footballing career spanning over 40 years. Involved with over a dozen clubs during this time, we take a look at some of the top quotes about Ray Wilkins.
Having never won the league title as a player in English domestic football, he was the assistant manager as Chelsea picked up the Premier League crown in 2010.
Born in London, Wilkins began his career at Stamford Bridge and became one of the club’s leading players during the mid to late ‘70s, captaining the side for four years.
After his tenure at Manchester United, his midfield play attracted the attentions of Italian side AC Milan before a stint with Scottish team Rangers saw two consecutive Premier Division league triumphs.
His other main team was Queens Park Rangers with whom he spent eight seasons in two separate spells and competed in over 200 games for the club. After retiring, he became a prominent football manager, with his assistant/caretaker role in various terms seeing him help Chelsea to three FA Cup victories as well as the League success.
He was an ever present in the England national team from the late ‘70s through to the mid ‘80s, participating in 84 internationals, and visiting two World Cup finals tournaments in 1982 and 1986.
Wilkins passed away in 2018 and was revered with a mass of tributes.
“…..a great player and a true gentleman.”
“One thing that shines through is what a wonderful human being he was…..He was just a delightfully charming man. He always very positive…..He was a really talented player…..”
“…..it was an honour to have you as a companion. You were special, a gentleman on the field and off.”
Franco Baresi (former AC Milan team-mate)
“…..a true friend and a gentleman…..Ray was a great ambassador for the game, a proud Englishman who loved playing for his country…..you could immediately see that his technical ability to play the ball was phenomenal.”
Gareth Southgate (England manager)
“He loved football, he was a connoisseur of the game, he was articulate and was a leader on and off the pitch…..He was a great lad, Ray.”
“He lived for and loved football. I was lucky enough to have worked with him and he was always a true gentleman.”
“…..one of the legends of the game, and to this day you are the first person I mention when it comes to football and that will never change. You will be missed so much not just in the football world but as a real human being with such class.”
Nigel Quashie (former QPR team-mate)
“A true football person with a totally underestimated contribution to our sport. One of the best I’ve seen.”
“…..he was such a gentleman – an unbelievable player.”
“His politeness, his manner, was outstanding…..He always had class, that brilliant smile and that brilliant sun tan. Against me, mister pasty, he always looked brilliant and he always was brilliant.”
Peter Reid (former England team-mate)
“He was a great player and an even greater man. Full of kindness and humility, with impeccable manners at all times. He had respect and time for everyone and to me he was a mentor.”
“He was a great guy, one unbelievable man…..He became an instant star at Chelsea…..became a legend there – he became a legend wherever he played…..he was a gifted individual, such a talented footballer.”
Mickey Thomas (former Manchester United team-mate)
“…..he was always ringing me offering advice and telling me what I could do to improve…..A true gentleman and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.”
Jack Grealish (Aston Villa player)
“Ray was a great football man, who was well respected and liked by all who knew him and he always had a kind word and time for people…..Ray was an impressive football talent and had a fantastic career representing some of the biggest clubs in the world.”
“Genuine lovely guy…..What a great passer and teacher of the game for any young kids who watched him.”
“Ray lived and breathed football his whole career. As a player, he was a leader on the pitch and he instilled his beliefs and values into his coaching…..Ray has been a stalwart of the LMA for many years. His energy and love of the game were his biggest strengths.”
Howard Wilkinson (League Managers’ Association chairman)
“Ray as a footballer and Ray as a private man was both exceptional…..He was very kind, very generous and a very happy and polite man…..”
Rob Wotton (Sky Sports journalist)
“He was tremendously fit…..I don’t think he ever received the plaudits that he should have done. As a team-mate, the stuff about him passing sideways was nonsense. He could find you anywhere on the pitch…..He did everything except really scoring goals. If he could score, he’d have been one of the greatest players of all time…..he was a great character…..”
Lou Macari (former Manchester United team-mate)
“He was a tremendous character and a fantastic bloke…..Being the gentleman that he was, he thought about what he was doing – looking after his fellow team-mates and they all have the greatest things to say about him.”
Clive Walker (former Chelsea team-mate)
“A man that I’ve always looked up to as a United fan and a player, plus he wore our country’s shirt with pride.”