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Ray Wilkins brought Nigel Quashie to Old Trafford to distribute kit... then gave him his debut

The 39-year-old took to Instagram to pay tribute to his former coach.

Ray Wilkins played for and coached QPR.
Ray Wilkins played for and coached QPR.

FORMER PREMIER LEAGUE footballer Nigel Quashie has paid an emotional tribute to Ray Wilkins, who died yesterday.

Quashie, who had spells with Portsmouth, West Brom and Wolves among others, began his career with the former England midfielder at Queens Park Rangers.

QPR visited Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in 1995 and Quashie headed with the senior side thinking he was there to help oversee the distribution of kit.

However, Wilkins handed him his professional debut instead.

The 39-year-old shared the story on Instagram as part of a tribute to Wilkins.

“I will always be proud to say how lucky I am to have been coached, managed and even meet you,” he said.

“If it wasn’t for you I would never have started my career playing football and will never forget going to Manchester United as a YTS trainee to do all the kit and boots in the changing room for the first team squad.

“[90] mins before kick off you name the team and I was in it and that’s how my debut went, I didn’t even get to think about it because all you said was your number 18, here are your boots and shin pads, just go and play, have fun and treat it like your over the park with your mates.

“My mum never had a mobile phone back then because we couldn’t afford anything like that and everything went through her work or home phone.

“I went outside to see her and asked how did you get here because I knew she couldn’t afford it.

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“She told me Ray had got the club to pay for her train ticket to come to the game and then told me Ray got the club to give us our first mobile phone in life during the week and he wanted to surprise me knowing I was making my debut.

“I was given a chance by Ray Wilkins one of the legends of the game and to this day you are the first person I mention when it comes to football and that will never change.

“You will be missed so much not just in the football world but as a real human being with such class.

“Thanks for everything and my thoughts go to all the family. Sleep well Sir Ray Wilkins.”

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