Fernando Ricksen: Rangers legend and ex-Dutch international passes on after battle with motor neuron disease
- Fernando Ricksen revealed in 2013 he was battling motor neuron disease
- The Rangers legend however lost his fight against the condition in a hospice outside of Glasgow
- The former midfielder previously played for AZ Alkmaar and Zenit, earning 12 caps with Netherlands
Rangers legend and ex-Dutch midfielder Fernando Ricksen has lost his six-year battle with motor neurone disease.
In a statement by Rangers, the Scottish club announced Ricksen died on Wednesday morning, September 18, in a hospice just outside of Glasgow.
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"Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neurone disease," Rangers said in a tweet.
Earlier in the year, Ricksen celebrated his 43rd birthday in style, with his family decorating his hospice room with banners and balloons.
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His wife, Veronika, later too to Instagram to share a heartwarming video as they celebrated the special day.
Back in June, Ricksen made his final emotional public appearance at a charity bash in Glasgow, in an event that saw the Dutchman struggle to hold back tears as he was accorded a hero’s welcome from fans.
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He spent six trophy-laden seasons at Rangers, having initially joined the Scottish side in the summer of 2000 from AZ Alkmaar.
He, however, endured a difficult start to life in Glasgow, before turning around his fortune following the arrival of Alex McLeish who took over as manager in December 2001.
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He went on to become an integral figure for the Light Blues, and was subsequently named club captain in 2005.
He later left Rangers for Zenit, before quitting the Russian side in 2009 for a return to boyhood club Fortuna Sittard where he retired.
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