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.
Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neurone disease.- Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) September 18, 2019
But the Scottish Premiership side sadly announced on Wednesday morning that the former Netherlands international had passed away.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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