Ray Wilkins joined Chelsea as an apprentice and it was apparent that with his talents he would soon break through into the first team. This he did in October 1973 aged 17.
Sadly for Wilkins this coincided with the breakup of the famous cup-winning team. As more experienced players left, Wilkins was made our youngest ever captain, just 18, but he could do little to prevent relegation. Two years later though, Ray had led a young team to promotion. He was the outstanding player in the team, his range and accuracy of passing created chance after chance for his team mates and he also contributed seven goals to the cause, many of them spectacular long-range efforts.
By now Wilkins was an England international, called up while still a Second Division player. He was becoming a celebrity away from the pitch and was undoubtedly the star of the team.
Still, even Ray's talents could not help a team that was being crippled by a lack of investment. He suffered his second relegation with the club in 1979 and was immediately transferred to Manchester United for £825,000.
After a long playing career, Wilkins moved into coaching and has twice been assistant manager at Chelsea, under Gianluca Vialli from 1999 to 2000, and from September 2008 to November 2010, under Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti.