Former England and Chelsea footballer Ray Wilkins dies aged 61 in hospital after suffering heart attack

Wilkins was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London last week after suffering a cardiac arrest and was placed in an induced coma.

A statement issued by St George’s Hospital on behalf of Wilkins’ family read: ‘It is with great sadness we announce that Raymond Colin Wilkins passed away this morning.

‘We would like to thank St George’s staff for the amazing work they have done to care for our beloved Ray.

‘We would also like to say thank you for the many goodwill messages we have received from Ray’s friends, colleagues, and members of the public.

‘Ray leaves behind his loving wife, Jackie, daughter Jade, son Ross, and his beautiful grandchildren, Oliver, Frankie, Ava, Freddie, Jake and Archie.

‘We are asking for privacy at this very difficult time.’

Wilkins, who has bravely battled poor health including ulcerative colitis over the last few years, was given the all clear after a double heart bypass operation last July.

Two years ago he checked into the Priory Hospital in Woking for a five-week rehabilitation programme after being banned from driving for four years for drink-driving.

Yet the popular former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder continued to work in the media on a regular basis and was held in the highest regard by everyone in football.

Born in Hillingdon, Wilkins came through the ranks at his boyhood club Chelsea and made his first-team debut against Norwich City at the age of 17 in 1973

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