Chelsea FC Sets Up Memorial Site at Stamford Bridge for Ray Wilkins
Inviting fans to leave mementoes and sign book of condolence after his sudden death
Chelsea Football Club is inviting supporters to come to Stamford Bridge to pay their respects to Ray Wilkins, who died suddenly on Wednesday at the age of 61.
The club says a special area has been set up near to the Britannia Gate entrance, where supporters can leave messages and mementoes. This area will be open daily from 8am-10pm, and from 9am on Sunday, when it hosts West Ham United in the Premier League.
The club will stage a minute’s applause before kick-off on Sunday, and the players will wear black armbands.The official programme will pay homage to Wilkins and his image, while the club montage of his career is going to be shown on the big screens inside the stadium.
Flags are being flown at half-mast at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground. Chelsea's Under-18’s also wore black armbands during their 3-0 win at Birmingham in the FA Youth Cup semi-final on Tuesday night, where a minute’s applause was also held.
At the museum within Stamford Bridge, a book of condolence has been opened for fans wishing to pay their respects, and the club says this will be shared with the Wilkins family.
The book will be available from 9.30am-5pm today and Saturday, and before Sunday’s match against West Ham from 9.30-3.30pm and afterwards until 8pm. Chelsea is asking supporters to be patient while queuing, and allow plenty of time before Sunday’s match.
Supporters unable to get to Stamford Bridge who wish to leave their own messages can do so here in an online book of condolence.
The club says: " We anticipate many fans would like to leave their own tributes to Ray, who represented Chelsea with pride as a player, coach and pundit over a career in the game spanning more than 40 years."
The club has also paid tribute to Ray, saying: " Ray was a popular and much-loved figure among fans, players and staff throughout his long association with the club.
"Our thoughts are with Ray’s wife Jackie, children Ross and Jade, and the rest of his family at this sad time.
"Ray Wilkins was the young jewel in the Chelsea team of the second half of the 1970s, shining like a beacon of hope during dark times for the club. When he later returned for two spells as a coach, he helped the Blues win the silverware his talents as a player had deserved. He was widely regarded by the many people who met him as one of the nicest guys in football, possessing a wonderful turn of phrase and a contagious love for the sport.
"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."
You can read the club's tribute in full, along with words from many of the club's key figures on its website.
April 6, 2018