Nigerian stars Mikel Obi and Carl Ikeme have joined the football world in paying tribute to former Chelsea player and coach Ray Wilkins who died in hospital at the age of 61 on Wednesday, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Wilkins, who was capped 84 times by the Three Lions of England, died of a cardiac arrest.
Mikel received coaching instructions from Wilkins during 2008 until 2010 season when the former Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers and QPR, worked alongside Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.
“RIP Ray Wilkins. A pleasure to have known you a true gentleman. Today is a sad day for football,” Mikel wrote on Twitter shortly after Wilkins was confirmed dead on Wednesday.
Super Eagles goalkeeper Ikeme, who is recovering from acute leukemia, also wrote on Twitter handle: “Never met the man but always loved listening to him talk … Rest In Peace.”
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also expressed his sadness at Wilkins’ demise.
“RIP Ray Wilkins. Always so humble & softly spoken whenever, I saw him. Genuine lovely guy. Watched him live at Loftus road many times for QPR. What a great passer & teacher of the game for any young kids who watched him,” Ferdinand wrote.
World football governing body FIFA tweeed: “Our thoughts are with all of the family and friends connected to a truly great football man in Ray Wilkins, who has passed away at the age of 61.”