Former football star passes away after battle with motor neurone disease

Fernando Ricksen has passed away [Courtesy]
Fernando Ricksen has passed away after a long battle with motor neurone disease, aged 43.

A statement from Rangers read: "Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neurone disease."

Ricksen was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder in 2013 and was supported by the Ibrox giants as he bravely battled the condition.

He died in the early hours of Wednesday morning in a hospital just outside Glasgow.

In a six-year spell at Rangers, Ricksen became a fan favourite and was renowned for his full-blooded commitment on the right-hand side.

He won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups during his time at Ibrox.

Ricksen begun his career with Fortuna Sittard in his native Netherlands before moving to AZ Alkmaar in 1997.

Ricksen was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder in 2013 and was supported by the Ibrox giants as he bravely battled the condition [Courtesy]

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He won the Eredivisie title with AZ in his first season and scored 12 goals in 92 league appearances.

After six seasons in Glasgow he left for Zenit St Petersburg and was part of the team that won the UEFA Cup in 2008 as well as claiming a Russian title, Russian Super Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

Ricksen was an unused substitute in the UEFA Cup final against Rangers in Manchester.

He made 12 senior appearances internationally for the Netherlands between 2000 and 2003.

Rangers added: "The thoughts of everyone at Rangers is today with his wife Veronika, his daughter Isabella and all his family and friends." 

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