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Former QPR boss Wilkins ‘critically ill’

PUBLISHED: 08:42 31 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:56 31 March 2018

QPR's Andy Impey (left) is consoled by manager and teammate Ray Wilkins after being sent off against Coventry at Highfield Road in 1996 (pic David Jones/PA)

QPR's Andy Impey (left) is consoled by manager and teammate Ray Wilkins after being sent off against Coventry at Highfield Road in 1996 (pic David Jones/PA)

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Former QPR manager and player Ray Wilkins is ‘critically ill’ after suffering a cardiac arrest, his wife has told the Daily Mirror.

Jackie Wilkins told the newspaper that the 61-year-old, ex-Chelsea, Manchester United and England player fell in the wake of the attack.

“He’s in hospital, he’s had a cardiac arrest and is in intensive care,” the newspaper quoted her as saying.

“He’s not in a good state at all, I’m afraid. He’s critically ill.

“The cardiac arrest led to a fall which has meant he’s had to be put in an induced come. It’s very, very bad.”

Wilkins had carried out media duties on Talksport and Sky Sports – he is a regular on both platforms – shortly before.

A winner of 84 England caps, Wilkins – known in the game as ‘Butch’ – began his career at Chelsea in the 1970s and played for 12 sides, including QPR in two spells in the 1990s.

He made a total of 176 league appearances for the Loftus Road club, scoring eight goals, and became player-manager in 1994, leading them to eighth in the Premier League and the FA Cup quarter-finals.

A message on the club’s Twitter account said: “We’re extremely saddened to hear former QPR player and manager Ray Wilkins has suffered a suspected heart attack. All our prayers are with you, Ray.”

Former player Andy Sinton posted: “Just woke up to the news about Ray. Keep fighting mate. You’re in my thoughts and the thoughts of everyone at @QPRFC. Such a great guy and a good friend.”

Wilkins appeared on the coaching staff of several other clubs, but is commonly associated with Chelsea, having numerous stints as assistant manager and one occasion, leading the side on a caretaker basis.

Carlo Ancelotti, under whom Wilkins worked at Stamford Bridge, once described him as having “real blue blood”.

Following the reports Chelsea tweeted: “The thoughts of everybody at Chelsea Football Club are with Ray Wilkins and his family tonight. Keep fighting Ray, you have our love and support.”

During his career as a player, he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and the Scottish title with Rangers in 1989.

Leyton Orient, another former club, also sent Wilkins their best wishes on Twitter, writing: “Everyone associated with LOFC’s thoughts are with former player Ray Wilkins and his family tonight. Keep fighting.”

Wilkins is a regular on the Alan Brazil breakfast show on Talksport and a message on the show’s Twitter account read: “Ray Wilkins is one of the nicest men you could ever wish to meet and working with him on the show is always a joy. Keep fighting, Butch. From Alan & everyone at @talkSPORT.”

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