‘Ray Wilkins defended the beautiful game’

Ray Wilkins
Ray Wilkins

Arsene Wenger has paid a warm tribute to Ray Wilkins.

Wilkins, who captained England and had a successful club career with Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers and QPR, died this week at the age of 61.

“I remember the first time I saw him play was when he played in Milan,” said Wenger.

“I was a coach in Monaco so I went a lot to watch the Italian championship, because we played in France on Saturday night and in Italy they played on Sunday afternoon.

“I saw him there and I had bought Mark Hateley from Milan and he played together with Ray Wilkins, so of course that’s where I saw him. And after when I came to England of course I saw him for the national team, and I saw him after in England when he was a coach or manager, and a pundit as well.

“I’ve always had huge respect for him because he didn't look after headlines, he made common sense. You could feel that he was inside our game and he looked always to be accommodating for people who are in the job. 

“He defended the players, and he saw an image of the game that I like. He was not always the judge, he was more of a guy who defends the beautiful game and people who are involved in the game.”

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