Franco Baresi has led tributes from AC Milan to former player Ray Wilkins after he passed away on Wednesday after suffering a heart-attack last week.
The 61-year-old was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south London, last week after suffering a heart attack at his home. He was placed in an induced coma five days ago but never regained consciousness.
And as Milan took on city rivals Inter on Wednesday night, Wilkins’ name was sung by supporters who unfurled a banner paying tribute to the former midfielder, describing him as a Rossoneri legend.
Franco Baresi parades a Milan shirt with Ray Wilkins’ name and number on the back
Baresi and Wilkins played alongside each other during the latter’s three years at Milan
A minute’s applause was also held before kick-off with both sets of fans joined in paying their respects.
His former team-mate Baresi began the tributes on an emotional evening as he laid flowers and displayed a ‘Wilkins 8’ shirt in the famous red and black colours.
Baresi said: ‘I am sad to hear that (about Wilkins). In his honour, tonight I’ll be wearing his Number 8 jersey. He was my teammate during the years when we laid the foundations to go on and win everything.
‘He was a gentleman both on and off the field, the ideal teammate you could ask for.’
Earlier in the day the former defender tweeted his condolences to ‘a gentleman on the field’.
The Italian legend held the shirt up towards Milan supporters at the San Siro on Wednesday
A minute’s applause was also held for Wilkins before the start of the Milan derby
Milan supporters display a banner to Rossoneri legend Wilkins during the derby with Inter
He wrote: ‘In these moments you never know what to say, but it was an honor to have you as a companion, you were special, a gentleman on the field and out. Thank you Ray Wilkins RIP’.
Milan also tweeted: ‘Goodbye Ray, you will be missed: tonight we’re gonna fight like you taught us!’
In a storied career that saw him captain England, Wilkins made 73 appearances for Milan in three years at the San Siro between 1984 and 1987.
Elsewhere flowers were laid at Stamford Bridge for the former Chelsea player and coach, who spent six years there as a player in the seventies and enjoyed two spells there working alongside Gianluca Vialli, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti.
Wilkins made 73 appearances for the San Siro club during three years between 1984 and 1987
Flowers were laid at Stamford Bridge for Wilkins, who both played for and coached Chelsea
The EFL said on Wednesday there would be no obligation for clubs to pay their respects.
A statement read: ‘The EFL will be staging a period of applause ahead of this Sunday’s Checkatrade Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium in celebration of the life of former England captain Ray Wilkins and the impact he made on the game as a player, manager and pundit.
‘The EFL is appreciative of the contribution Ray made throughout an outstanding career in professional football and will pay tribute shortly before the match between Lincoln City and Shrewsbury Town (kick-off 3pm).
‘The EFL has communicated to all 72 clubs, and while the EFL is placing no obligation on its Clubs to organise a tribute, we are offering our full support for any proposed marks of respect they would like to make ahead of this weekend’s league fixtures.’