Skip to content

Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek vows England will do it for Ray Wilkins

Chelsea assistant head coach Ray Wilkins watches the game from the dugout during a pre-season friendly match against Kingstonian Football Club played at Kingsmeadow in London on July 10, 1999
Image: Ray Wilkins during his time as assistant head coach at Chelsea

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has paid tribute to the late Ray Wilkins, dedicating England's World Cup campaign to the former Three Lions captain.

Wilkins, who died at the age of 61 in April, had a career which saw him win 84 England caps, lead the side on 10 occasions and spend more than four decades playing and coaching at the highest level.

Loftus-Cheek met him as a teenage prospect at Chelsea, during Wilkins' stint as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant, and has never forgotten the older man's influence, having been thrown in the deep end aged 14 alongside one of Chelsea's greatest modern day players.

of England of Costa Rica during the International friendly match between England and Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7, 2018 in Leeds, England.
Image: Loftus-Cheek could make his first World Cup appearance in Russia

"All these games we play here and how far we get, we do it for Ray," Loftus-Cheek said on behalf of himself and fellow Blue Gary Cahill.

"He's been such an icon for Chelsea and the game of football. I think a lot of players will miss him. For sure, we'll do it for him.

"I was on something called day release, we left school and did some learning at Cobham, at training," he recalled.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Stamford Bridge paid tribute to the late Ray Wilkins, ahead of Chelsea's game against West Ham

"I was about to go home and Neil Bath, the academy manager, said, 'You're not going home, you're training with the first team'.

Also See:

"I couldn't wait to get going. I was obviously nervous but then Wilkins paired me up with Didier Drogba in a one-on-one drill. I was just really excited to get home and tell my parents."

England kick off their campaign on Monday against Tunisia in a Group G match.

Fantasy Six-a-Side

Fantasy Six-a-Side

Pick your dream team for England v Tunisia to win the guaranteed £1k jackpot.

Around Sky