Long battle with MND
Former Rangers captain Fernando Ricksen dies aged 43
Battle: Fernando Ricksen (pic: SNS Group)
Former Rangers captain Fernando Ricksen has died at the age of 43 following a battle with motor neurone disease.
The Dutchman first revealed in October 2013 that he was suffering from the incurable muscle-wasting illness.
Ricksen spent six successful years at Ibrox, endearing himself to the supporters after signing in 2000.
He played 182 games for the club, scoring 13 goals.
During his time with Rangers he won two league championships, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups.
A member of the Rangers Hall of Fame, he also won 12 caps for his native Netherlands.
A statement from Rangers said: “Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neurone disease.
“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.
“In October 2013, he revealed he was suffering from motor neuron disease, and since then, has fought a terrific battle against the condition, raising awareness and funds for the Fernando Ricksen Foundation which aims to help others suffering from the illness.
“A benefit match was held at Ibrox in January 2015, and attracted over 41,000 fans to Ibrox. It raised £320,000 with the proceeds split between Fernando, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.
“The thoughts of everyone at Rangers is today with his wife Veronika, his daughter Isabella and all his family and friends.”