Former England international Ray Wilkins was last night seriously ill in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Wilkins, 61, who has worked as a pundit for Sky Sports News and talkSPORT over the last week, is understood to have fallen and hit his head after his heart stopped.
He was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London where he has been put in an induced coma.
Ray’s son Ross Wilkins said last night: ‘I hope everyone can respect the family’s wishes over privacy at this very difficult time for us. It’s touch and go whether my father will get through this.’
Wilkins, who has bravely battled poor health including ulcerative colitis over the last few years, was given the all clear after a double heart bypass operation last July.
Two years ago he checked into the Priory Hospital in Woking for a five-week rehabilitation programme after being banned from driving for four years for drink-driving. Yet the popular former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder has continued to work in the media on a regular basis and is held in the highest regard by everyone in football.
He made 84 appearances for England, captaining his country 10 times, and went on to manage QPR, Fulham and Jordan.
He has also been an assistant boss at Chelsea for three spells, and took over as caretaker manager when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked in February 2009.
He went on to work with Guus Hiddink at Stamford Bridge and remained as assistant manager when Carlo Ancelotti took over in 2009. Wilkins left the club in November 2010.
Ancelotti wrote in his 2010 autobiography: ‘Ray is one of those select few, always present, noble in spirit, a real blue-blood.
‘Chelsea flows in his veins — without him we wouldn’t have won a thing.’