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Rangers Hero Fernando Ricksen Passes Away After Battle With Motor Neurone Disease

Rangers Hero Fernando Ricksen Passes Away After Battle With Motor Neurone Disease

Rangers have announced that Fernando Ricksen has passed away at the age of 43 after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

The Dutchman was diagnosed with the illness in 2013 and has continued to battle against it over the last six years.

But the Scottish Premiership side sadly announced on Wednesday morning that the former Netherlands international had passed away.

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Rangers said they were "deeply saddened" to hear the news and paid tribute to their former player's legacy.

Ricksen campaigned to raise awareness and funds for the Fernando Ricksen Foundation, which was set up to help those who also suffered from the same illness.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The club hosted a benefit match at the Ibrox in 2015 and it was attended by over 41,000 fans, with a whopping £320,000 raised for Fernando, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

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In June, Ricksen posted an emotional video on social media to say that his 'An Evening With Fernando Ricksen' would be his 'final night' in public.

Ricksen started his career at Dutch side Fortuna Sittard and would later move to AZ.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA
Credit: PA

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But then the Dutchman would complete his move to Rangers in 2000 and spent six seasons at the Scottish club.

The ex-Fortuna Sittard and AZ player would enjoy a respectable trophy haul with the Gers as he won two Scottish Cups and SPL titles along with the Scottish League Cup on three occasions.

After six seasons at the Ibrox, he would carry on his career at Zenit Saint Petersburg and carry on picking up more silverware.

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Credit: PA

The former Rangers player would win the Russian Premier League and the Russian Super Cup with Zenit, along with capturing the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

He would return to childhood team Fortuna Sittard in 2010 and spend the final three seasons of his career with the club.

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Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and his squad posed for a photo with Ricksen when he visited the Rangers Training Centre back in February.

SPORTbible would like to send out its deepest condolences to Mr Ricksen's family and friends during this difficult time.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football News, Football, Scottish Premiership, SPL, Scotland, Rangers

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Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]