Former England Football Captain, Wilkins Dies At 61

FILE COPY  Chelsea’s Assistant Coach Ray Wilkins looks out during a press conference at Chelsea football training grounds in Cobham, Surrey.  Photo Credit: CARL DE SOUZA / AFP

 

Former England, Chelsea, and Manchester United midfielder, Ray Wilkins, died on Wednesday at the age of 61, days after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Wilkins, who won 84 England caps and was one of the most technically gifted players of his generation, had been treated in a London hospital since Friday.

The hospital issued a statement on behalf of the family, thanking friends, colleagues and members of the public for the “many goodwill messages”.

Chelsea, in a Twitter post, said: “Everybody associated with Chelsea Football Club is devastated to learn of the passing of our former player, captain and assistant coach, Ray Wilkins. Rest in peace, Ray, you will be dreadfully missed.”

Wilkins, known in the game by his childhood nickname “Butch”, played for 11 clubs including AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Glasgow Rangers, and was on the coaching staff of several more.

The midfielder started his career with Chelsea and spent six years with the Blues, while also having numerous stints as assistant manager. On one occasion, he led the side on a caretaker basis.

“Without question one of Chelsea’s greatest, most famous and most admired home-grown players, Ray was a much-loved icon and ambassador. He will be dreadfully missed,” the club said on its website.

During his career as a player, Wilkins won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983, scoring a memorable goal in the first tie against Brighton at Wembley, which ended 2-2. He also won the Scottish title with Rangers in 1989.

He became the fourth player sent off while playing for England when he was dismissed during the 1986 World Cup finals in Mexico in a game against Morocco.

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

Manchester United tweeted: “The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Manchester United are with the family, friends and colleagues of our former midfielder Ray Wilkins, following his tragic passing.”

A tweet on AC Milan’s account said: “Goodbye Ray, you will be missed: tonight we’re gonna fight like you taught us!”

AFP

Rooney’s Agent Negotiates With China Clubs

Europa League: Manchester United Thrash Feyenoord 4-0 with Wayne RooneyWayne Rooney’s agent, Paul Stretford, is in China to see if he can negotiate a deal for the forward, to leave Manchester United.

Rooney has fallen down the pecking order at United, under Manager Jose Mourinho.

The England captain has been made aware of interest in him from the Chinese Super League for some time, although it is not known which clubs his agent is in talks with.

There are already indications that this latest development will affect Rooney’s chances of being involved in Sunday’s EFL Cup Final against Southampton.

Wayne Rooney’s agent has flown to China to speak with clubs trying to sign the England captain from Manchester United.

Rooney Equals Charlton’s Record As Manchester United Thrash Reading 4-0

Manchester United, Wayne Rooney, Reading, FA Cup, Bobby CharltonEnglish Forward Wayne Rooney has equaled the record of Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer previously set by Sir Bobby Charlton.

The 31-year-old made the feat on Saturday when he netted the opener in an FA Cup match against Reading.

Anthony Martial consequently added a second eight minutes later as his side dominated the first half.

Marcus Rashford netted the third before doubling his tally after a horrible error by Reading keeper, Ali Al Habsi.

It was a happy day for the hosts at the Old Trafford, as they ease to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory in a match witnessed by Sir Charlton whose record had stood since 1973.

With the goal, the England captain now has 249 goals in 543 games, reaching the landmark of 215 matches and four seasons quicker than his predecessor.

He had also exceeded Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals in 2015 and has since taken his tally to 53.

Van Gaal Defends Removal Of Anthony Martial In CSKA Game

van gaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, has insisted that he was right to take off Anthony Martial against CSKA Moscow, despite boos from some of the Manchester United supporters.

The United boss had started Tuesday night’s Champions League Group B clash with Martial as the main striker ahead of Wayne Rooney, in a more withdrawn role.

But with the game goalless after 66 minutes, Van Gaal replaced the French teenager with Marouane Fellaini and pushed Rooney up front.

However, the decision was vindicated as the United and England Captain headed home the winner in the 79th minute.

Townsend Scores As England Draw With Italy

EnglandTottenham winger, Andros Townsend, came off the bench to produce a late equaliser for England in a 1-1 draw against Italy in Turin on Tuesday.

Southampton striker, Graziano Pelle’s header looked to have put Italy on course for victory in the first-half of the friendly against England.

The English side on the other hand, struggled to get to grips with the changes made by manager, Roy Hodgson, after Friday’s Euro 2016 qualifier win against Lithuania.

By the introduction of several substitutes, the Tottenham winger’s rising 20-yard drive 11 minutes from time, gave England a draw in the second-half.

Hodgson’s side then ended the game on top and only a fine save from Buffon stopped England captain, Wayne Rooney – who had earlier hit the bar – from adding to his total of 47 goals for his country and closing even further on Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record of 49.

The experiment of using Phil Jones in midfield failed miserably and he reverted to defence when Chris Smalling went off ill just before half-time.

Correspondingly, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, was also misused in a forward role rather than on the wing.

Hodgson said after the match, “I’m really happy with our second half, I thought we were the better team. That’s pleasing in the sense that under (Antonio) Conte, Italy are a strong team.

“We’re missing a few players and when they’re available, we have a few more options.”

PSG President Urges Beckham To Hang On Till Next season

Veteran midfielder and former England international David Beckham has successfully put PSG big boss in a state of want.

Nasser Al Khelaifi the President of French club; Paris Saint-Germain has said that he wants the England International to stay on at the club till the next season as he has dazzled the club both on and off field.

In an interview, Al-Khelaifi said Beckham has shown that he is really happy at Paris Saint-Germain, the more reason why we want him to stay till the next season and it will be thrown open to him for discussions soonest.

David Beckham sign a short contract with the French club which was supposed to end by this season end but seeing the impact the player has made despite being a substitute player for all his appearances, more has been demanded from the player by Al-Khelaifi as he admitted that having the player on board PSG was one of the best decision ever made because he has turned the PSG squad around within a shortest period of time.

Beckham responding to this request said he is not giving an answer yet even though the offer is irresistible as he asked that the season will decided what answer he will give to the PSG President’s request.

John Terry retires from international football

John Terry has announced his retirement from international football.

This was a personal and difficult decision for John to take as playing for and captaining his country was a boyhood dream.

John first represented England in June 2003 against Serbia and Montenegro.

John George Terry plays in a centre back position for the Three Lions also the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League. He was also captain of the England national football team, holding the post from August 2006 to February 2010 and from March 2011 to February 2012.

Terry was named UEFA Club Defender of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2009. PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2005, and was included in the FIFPro World XI for four consecutive seasons, from 2005 to 2008. He was also named in the all-star squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the only English player to make the team. He wears the number 26 shirt for Chelsea.

Terry is Chelsea’s most successful captain, having led them to three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a UEFA Champions League since 2004. He is one of five players to have made over 500 appearances for Chelsea and is also the club’s all-time highest scoring defender.

In 2007, he became the first captain to lift the FA Cup at the new Wembley Stadium in Chelsea’s 1–0 win over Manchester United, and also the first player to score an international goal there, scoring a header in England’s 1–1 draw with Brazil.

The 31-year-old was named England captain in August 2006 and went on to lead his country 34 times.

John also won nine caps at Under-21 level.