Sunderland boss pays emotional tribute to his former teammate and manager Ray Wilkins

Ray Wilkins.
Ray Wilkins.
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Chris Coleman has described Ray Wilkins as an 'icon' of the game after he sadly passed away aged just 61.

Tributes have been pouring in from the great and the good of the football world after the former England captain died in hospital following a cardiac arrest.

Wilkins, who won 84 caps for his country between 1976-86, had been treated in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south-west London since Friday.

Former Three Lions team-mates Gary Lineker, Terry Butcher and Peter Reid were among those to warmly pay tribute to Wilkins' personality as well as talent on the pitch.

And Coleman has added his own tribute to Wilkins, who he played alongside at Crystal Palace and played under at Fulham.

"What a great man," said Coleman.

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

"We signed him at Crystal Palace, he was probably about 35 then Ray, and we had just got promoted into the Premier League.

"He was 35 and we were all in awe of his ability and talent, even at that age.

"The ball was like a magnet on his foot and it was the first time I had been around that quality, an ex-England captain.

"The attraction for me was what he was like as a fella, a great guy," added the Sunderland manager at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Leeds United game.

Having been teammates at Crystal Palace, Wilkins then signed Coleman when he was Fulham manager in 1997.

Coleman added: "He signed me for Fulham and I had a great relationship with him.

"I remember when I had a car crash at Fulham, he was the first at my bedside and he wasn't even at Fulham then, he had moved on, he was that type of football man.

"Anybody you talk to say Ray Wilkins is an icon in football - certainly from my era.

"From a fantastic family, lovely people, he is a huge, huge loss.

"He text me when I was struggling with Wales 'keep your chin up, keep going' and then text me when we were doing well too, he was a top fella, a top person."