Ray Wilkins MBE enjoyed a distinguished career within the game both as a player and coach. The former England midfielder began his career with Chelsea, making his debut as a 17-year-old in 1973. He went on to enjoy an illustrious playing career with the likes of Manchester United, AC Milan, QPR and Rangers before entering management and coaching.
His two managerial tenures in English football came in the nineties. Firstly, as Player-Manager of Premier League side QPR in 1994, where Ray led his side to eighth in league and the FA Cup quarter-finals. QPR were unable to build on Ray’s first season in charge and were relegated to the Football League at the end of 1995/96.
Ray’s next appointment came at Fulham where he led his side to the Division Two play-offs in his only season at the club.
Having proven himself as a talented coach, Ray returned to his boyhood club Chelsea as Gianluca Vialli’s Assistant Manager. After Vialli left Chelsea and joined Watford, the pair were reunited as Ray once again joined the Italian’s coaching staff.
A spell at Millwall followed as Assistant Manager to another former Chelsea colleague, Dennis Wise, in 2003. During this time, Ray also joined The FA as Assistant Coach to England Under 21 Manager Peter Taylor.
His long association with Chelsea continued in 2008, as Ray was appointed as a first team coach to support Luiz Felipe Scolari. In 2009/10, Ray formed part of the Chelsea coaching staff, under Carlo Ancelotti, which won the Premier League and FA Cup double. In Ancelotti’s autobiography The Beautiful Games of an Ordinary Genius, Carlo said: “Ray is one of those select few, always present, noble in spirit, a real blue-blood, Chelsea flows in his veins.”
Having left Chelsea in 2010, following a successful spell at the club, Ray became increasingly active as a broadcaster and commentator, offering his insight and expertise on the game across a number of different media platforms.
Ray returned to coaching in 2013 with Fulham before being appointed as Head Coach of Jordan national team in September 2014. His time in charge of Jordan culminated by leading the country at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
In his final coaching role, Ray returned to the Premier League as Assistant Manager to Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa.