Former Rangers Captain Fernando Ricksen Thanks Fans Using New Voice Machine
Fernando Ricksen has thanked fans for the support by using a special device that enables him to communicate.
Ricksen, 42, is a former Rangers captain and spent six years at Ibrox, winning seven trophies, including two league titles.
In 2013, he was struck by ALS, a motor neurone disease that he continues to battle. His health has continued to deteriorate, with his muscles becoming weak and the Dutchman being unable to speak.
However, he has now been given a Stephen Hawking-style computer that allows him to speak. Firm rdgKompagne got in touch with his biographer Vincent de Vries and donated the voice generator.
And in a video posted on his Twitter account, Ricksen gave an emotional message to all those who have supported him in such a difficult period.
Fernando Ricksen so happy with his special eye-computer. "Finally I can talk and explain myself again." pic.twitter.com/FQ93tgP1q9- Vincent de Vries (@therealvdv) September 9, 2018
Fernando Ricksen: "Thank everyone for the energy." pic.twitter.com/GkXEHYO1Ps
- Vincent de Vries (@therealvdv) September 10, 2018
"Hello, for the people who don't know me I am Fernando Ricksen and I suffer from Motor Neurone Disease also known as ALS." he says with help from the device. Because of this muscle disease I'm unable to speak. I have a new device that speaks for me.
"At the moment I only have a female voice so bear with me. First I want to thank everyone for the love and support on my birthday. Thank you for the energy."
Ricksen has had charity games and club dinners organised by Rangers in his honour, while the club hailed him in a Twitter post wishing him happy birthday in July.
Five-time Ballon d'Or Cristiano Ronaldo also did his bit for the former Zenit man, inviting him to watch him in Champions League action at the Bernabeu in 2016 and giving him his grass-stained shirt from the game.
Keep fighting, Fernando.