Ray Wilkins
Ray Wilkins has been banned from driving for four years Getty

Ray Wilkins has been banned from driving for the third time in three years after the former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder was caught behind the wheel three times over the legal limit.

The 59-year-old former England star admitted the charge on Monday (25 July) at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court in West London after he was caught driving his Mercedes car while drunk near Heathrow Airport on 1 July. In England and Wales, the alcohol limit for drivers is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath - Wilkins had 100mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath when he was tested.

Wilkins, whose two previous convictions for the offence date from 2013, told magistrates he was battling alcohol addiction and that he would abstain from drinking. "Abstinence is the only way I can cure this situation," the FA Cup-winner said.

District judge, Tim Boswell, handed down Wilkins a 10-week suspended prison sentence, ordered him to do 140 hours' unpaid work and banned him from driving for 48 months. He thanked the judge for dealing with the case so swiftly before telling media outside the court he should not be judged on his alcoholism.

His court appearance was delayed after his lawyers said Wilkins – who was capped 84 times by his country – was seeking medical help for alcoholism at the Priory Hospital in Woking, Surrey.

As well as United and Chelsea, Wilkins played for some of Europe's most illustrious teams including a three year stint at AC Milan, a spell at Paris St Germain and two years at Scottish giants Rangers.

In the twilight of his career, Wilkins played for Queens Park Rangers and went on to be a well-regarded assistant manager at Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti during which time the west London club won a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/10, the first in their history.