Wilkes played with Xerxes Rotterdam, then arrived at Inter Milan in the summer of 1949. He played with Inter 95 matches scoring 47 goals. After the Inter period ended in the 1952 he played one season with Torino and at the age of 30 he moved to La Liga for Valencia, scoring with los Ches a total of 38 goals in 62 appearances between 1953-54 and 1955-56 making him the first foreign idol of the Valencian club. He also played for Levante and Hion. He died of a cardiac arrest, aged 82. He is considered as one of the best football players the Netherlands ever had. Wilkes was the 4th Dutch player (after Gerrit Keizer, Bep Bakhuys and Gerrit Vreken) who played abroad.