Former Chelsea coach fights for his life after heart attack

Former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins

Former Chelsea captain and coach, Ray Wilkins, is reportedly seriously ill following a heart attack with his wife telling British media: “It’s very, very bad”.

Wilkins, who also captained England and played for Manchester United and AC Milan is said to be fighting for his life at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London on Friday night.

The 61-year-old former midfielder is understood to have fallen and hit his head after his heart stopped.

“He is not in a good state at all, I’m afraid. He’s critically ill,” Wilkins’ wife Jackie told The Mirror newspaper.

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

Wilkins played 84 times for England, captaining his country 10 times between 1976 and 1986.

His playing career also took him to Paris Saint Germain, Glasgow Rangers and Queen’s Park Rangers.

He coached QPR, Fulham and Jordan as well as becoming caretaker manager at Chelsea when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in 2009.

Wilkins, who has been employed as a TV pundit, also worked alongside Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge and was assistant when Carlo Ancelotti took over.

“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,” said a statement on the Chelsea Twitter feed.

His son, Ross Wilkins, said on Friday night: “I hope everyone can respect the family’s wishes over privacy at this very difficult time for us. It’s touch and go whether my father will get through this.”

Wilkins, who has bravely battled poor health including ulcerative colitis over the last few years, 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 has continued to work in the media on a regular basis and is held in the highest regard by everyone in football.