Wow, I’m in shock about Ray Wilkins passing away. My thoughts and blessings go to his family and others that loved him dearly.
You were the person I will always be grateful for because I could not have received better advice. A man that guided me to understand the Premier League from day one.
The day of my Chelsea debut, Gianco Vialli said to me “you’re coming on” and I was pumped to get on the field. Then you walked up to me and pulled me to the side, looked me right in my eyes and said: “play like a winner every minute. Only stay down if you’re really in pain, if not get up and use your qualities that we wanted you for and that the fans will love forever.”
I will be forever grateful for your great advice.
After my debut you would stay out and train me on all the scenarios I could face in the upcoming games. We laughed a lot too, because you have always been a joker, but when it was business time you were tough. That came as a big surprise at first because if you didn’t know you would think you had two personalities that could switch in a flash, but it wasn’t that.
You could just change right then and there before we would go out on the field. Your last word before a match would always be “enjoy every minute because then you know you’re playing well and don’t need my advice.”
In the late 70’s you were handed the captaincy at Chelsea at just 18 years old, helping a youthful team earn promotion back to the first division, before your transfer to Man United.
Last year I came to London and walked into the studio, and who do I see? My trainer, the legend, Ray Wilkins. The happiness on your face was so incredible that it almost made me feel shy. The respect and fun times that I had that day were just like my early days at Chelsea.
Go up there trainer, keep your head up and make them smile just like you did for us. You will be missed.