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Butch found sectarianism ‘ridiculous’

Westminster’s Diocesan Chaplain for Sport has remembered former England midfielder Ray Wilkins for his ability to draw people together.

Paying tribute to Wilkins, who died aged 61 on Wednesday, 4th April, Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, who is also CEO of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, told The Universe, Wilkins was “not only a great player but a good – very good – human being who beneath all tribal differences, saw all of us as members of the same human-divine family”.

“His presence and his skills enriched our lives. Competitive on the pitch, Ray was able to draw people together where it matters: in their daily lives,” he added.

Wilkins – known in the game by his childhood nickname ‘Butch’ – began his career at Chelsea and captained the side as a teenager. He later played for Manchester United, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Queens Park Rangers and Rangers.

Speaking on his time at Rangers, Wilkins previously told ESPN that he found the sectarianism “ridiculous”.

“I’d just come from Italy and France which are Catholic countries, very warm and friendly, and here I was in Glasgow with some of my team-mates (fellow Rangers players) hating Catholics. I just couldn’t understand it and frankly found it ridiculous,” he said.

Read more on this story in this week’s Universe.
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This weekend’s Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 14th April

Southampton v Chelsea – 12:30pm
Burnley v Leicester City – 3:00pm
Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion – 3:00pm
Huddersfield Town v Watford – 3:00pm
Swansea City v Everton – 3:00pm
Liverpool v AFC Bournemouth – 5:30pm
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City – 7:45pm

Sunday 15th April

Newcastle United v Arsenal – 1:30pm
Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion – 4:00pm

Monday 16th April

West Ham United v Stoke City – 8:00pm

Picture: Ray Wilkins pictured when Chelsea assistant first team coach. (Matthew Impey/EMPICS Sport).