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Robson hails “fitting” Wembley tribute to Wilkins

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Wilkins, who died last month, played for both Chelsea and Manchester United.

Ray Wilkins played for both Chelsea and Manchester United (Matthew Impey/EMPICS)

Bryan Robson still vividly remembers Ray Wilkins’ 1983 FA Cup final goal and thinks it is “fitting” his widow Jackie will present this year’s winners with the trophy on Saturday.

Robson’s former Manchester United team-mate Wilkins died at the age of 61 last month and will be remembered at Wembley when his old club face another of his former employers Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

The Football Association confirmed earlier this week that there would be tributes to Wilkins at Saturday’s showpiece, with his widow to present the cup to the winners from the Royal Box and banners to be unveiled in both the Chelsea and United ends ahead of kick-off.

“I think it’s a great touch by the FA,” Robson told Press Association Sport.

“Ray was a great player, played for Manchester United, played for Chelsea, so it’s fitting that Jackie presents the trophy.

“That will be great for her, fantastic for the family and a great memory of Ray Wilkins.

“When we were both 17 we played in the England youth team which won the mini World Cup. We roomed together for three weeks, so I’ve got great memories of Ray.

“(The) first FA Cup win for me was playing with Ray. They were my first two trophies – winning the mini World Cup with Ray, winning the first FA Cup with Ray. He was a great lad and became a great family friend.”

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Wilkins and Robson were United colleagues in 1983 when Ron Atkinson’s team beat Brighton to win the FA Cup.

The first encounter between the two finished 2-2, with Wilkins scoring a glorious goal – just his fifth in four years for United – from outside the box to put United ahead.

Brighton forced a replay but Wilkins’ central-midfield partner Robson would score twice in the following game as United ran out 4-0 winners and lifted the cup.

“What a goal it was in the first game,” Robson added.

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“That is the actual quickest I’ve ever seen Ray run when he scored the goal and went to the fans!

“All the Man United players said, ‘Where’s he going?’ We all just stayed in the middle of the pitch and let him get on with it!”

:: Bryan Robson was speaking on behalf of Marathonbet, the official global betting partner to Manchester United. www.marathonbet.co.uk

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