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Saturday, March 27, 1999 Published at 09:10 GMT

Wilkins gets Chelsea post

Wilkins has had a chequered career in management

Ray Wilkins has been unveiled as Chelsea's new first-team coach, after Graham Rix was jailed for 12 months for unlawful sex and indecent assault.

Ray Wilkins: "It's not a very pleasant situation"
Wilkins, who began his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge, has been appointed on a short-term basis until Rix is freed from jail and returns to the club.

Rix has been told his job will be kept open while he serves his sentence.

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Wilkins knows Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli from his days in Italy with AC MIlan.

Respected figure

Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson said: "Ray has been training with us to prepare for the forthcoming over-35s tournament.

[ image: Wilkins burst into top-flight football with Chelsea in the 1970s]
Wilkins burst into top-flight football with Chelsea in the 1970s
"He is well known to us and well known to Luca obviously because their paths have crossed.

"He knows everyone at the training ground and gets on well with them. The players respect him so he is the ideal person to fill the gap in the short-term until Graham is free to resume his duties."

Wilkins was Queens Park Rangers manager between 1994 and 1996, before taking over at Fulham when Kevin Keegan arrived as chief operating officer in September 1997.

He was sacked after just seven months at Craven Cottage and the job at Chelsea represents a return to full-time coaching for Wilkins.

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26 Mar 99 | UK
Soccer coach Rix jailed for underage sex

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