Former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen dies aged 43 from motor neurone disease

18 September 2019, 13:26

Former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen has died at age 43 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease.
Former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen has died at age 43 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

Former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen has died at the age of 43 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease, the Ibrox club has confirmed.

The Dutch international had been battling the condition since 2013.

He passed away in a hospice on Wednesday morning.

Fernando Ricksen was a fan favourite during his six-year spell at Rangers after being signed by Dick Advocaat in 2000.

He helped Ibrox win the domestic cup double in 2002, the treble in 2003 and was captain for a trophy double in 2005.

The Scottish club released a statement following his death.

"Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neurone disease," the statement read.

"Fernando spent six trophy-laden seasons at Ibrox having initially joined a number of other Dutch players under manager Dick Advocaat in the summer of 2000.

Fernando Ricksen walks out to greet the crowd before his tribute match at the Ibrox Stadium.
Fernando Ricksen walks out to greet the crowd before his tribute match at the Ibrox Stadium. Picture: PA

"The thoughts of everyone at Rangers is today with his wife Veronika, his daughter Isabella and all his family and friends.

“Fernando will never be forgotten by his teammates or Rangers fans. His place in our history is secured."

The club also shared a video tribute to the footballer on Twitter.

His career highlight at Rangers came in the 2004-2005 season where he jointly won the SPFA player of the year award after scoring nine goals from midfield in his 40 appearances for the club.

Following his diagnosis, he raised awareness and money to help other sufferers of motor neurone disease through the Fernando Ricksen Foundation.

A benefit match held for him at Ibrox in 2015 was attended by more than 41,000 fans and raised £320,000, with the proceeds split between the sportsman, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

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