Everyone at Manchester United extends their sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Wilkins family and friends at this most distressing time.
He will always be remembered with great affection by all those who knew him during his five years at Old Trafford. Ray ‘Butch’ Wilkins was the consummate midfielder who possessed brilliant footballing skills and a brain to match. He will always be held in high esteem at all the clubs for which he played and in particular Manchester United and Chelsea. He will also command a high place in the all-time list of those who pulled on England’s white shirt adorned with Three Lions.
Raymond Colin Wilkins was born in Hillingdon, West London, on Friday 14 September 1956 the son of George, a former professional footballer who also had three others sons, Graham, Dean and Stephen, who followed in his footsteps. With a pedigree like that Wilkins was always going to make the grade and it wasn’t long before the hereditary talent began to show through.
He was to represent his country at every level from schoolboy to the senior national side, for whom he collected 84 caps.
He made his name with Chelsea playing 179 times for the Stamford Bridge club and scoring 30 goals in all competitions. In the summer of 1979 he swapped the all-blue of Chelsea for the red and white of United when he transferred for £85,000. He was also re-united with manager Dave Sexton for whom he had played under for the Pensioners.
News of his arrival at Old Trafford was greeted with great excitement because he had gained the reputation of being one of the most accomplished midfield players of his generation. He joined United at a time when the club was still striving to capture the glory days and the earlier years of success.