90-minute memorial service for late Chelsea hero Ray Wilkins

Chelsea heroes from past and present were among mourners in London on Tuesday for the memorial service of Ray Wilkins at St Luke’s and Christ Church.

Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Gianfranco Zola were in attendance for Chelsea legend Wilkins, as was current Blues boss Antonio Conte. Wilkins died on April 4 after a heart attack. He was 61.

Other notable names included England boss Gareth Southgate, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker.


West Ham hero Trevor Brooking was present, as were former Chelsea duo Dennis Wise and Mark Hughes, now manager of Southampton. Television presenters Simon Thomas and Ed Chamberlin, along with the likes of Glen Hoddle and Joe Jordan, were also there to pay respects.

Wilkins enjoyed a playing career that spanned three decades and he starred for clubs in four different countries. After retiring from football in 1997, he became a manager and coach, most recently at Aston Villa.

He bravely battled poor health including ulcerative colitis over the last few years and 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.


He had carried out media duties on talkSPORT and Sky Sports, performing as a regular pundit on both platforms shortly before suffering the cardiac arrest.

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.

He would go on to play 179 league matches for the club over the next six years having been appointed club captain at just 18.

After relegation in 1978-79, Chelsea accepted an offer of £800,000 from Manchester United and Wilkins was on his way north.

He made 160 league appearances for the Old Trafford club and helped them win the FA Cup in 1983, defeating Brighton and Hove Albion in the final.

Wilkins was called up to play for England by Don Revie in 1976, making his debut against Italy during a tournament in the United States.

He quickly became an established name in the team, helping England qualify for the 1980 European Championships, their first finals in a decade.

In all, Wilkins won 84 caps for his country, captaining the side on 10 occasions and scoring three goals.