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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 22 November, 2019

Ex-Rangers captain Fernando Ricksen, 43, dies after battling motor neurone disease

Ricksen won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups with the Glasgow club.

Fernando Ricksen at Rangers in 2002.
Fernando Ricksen at Rangers in 2002.
Image: EMPICS Sport

SCOTTISH PREMIERSHIP CLUB Rangers have announced the death of Fernando Ricksen, their former right-back and captain.

Ricksen, who was capped 12 times by the Netherlands, passed away this morning at the age of 43. He had been battling motor neurone disease since 2013.

He joined the Glasgow club from AZ Alkmaar and had a successful six-year spell at Ibrox, which began in 2000 under compatriot Dick Advocaat.

Ricksen won two league titles, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups, including a domestic treble in 2003. He also shared the SPFA Player of the Year award with Celtic’s John Hartson in 2005.

In 2006, the Dutch defender moved to Zenit St Petersburg, with whom he won the Russian Premier League and the Uefa Cup. He finished his career at Fortuna Sittard in the Netherlands.

Since revealing his battle with motor neurone disease in 2013, he sought to raise awareness and funds for the Fernando Ricksen Foundation which aims to help other MND sufferers.

A benefit match, which was attended by over 41,000 fans, was held at Ibrox in January 2015 and raised £320,000, with the proceeds split between Ricksen, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

“The thoughts of everyone at Rangers is today with his wife Veronika, his daughter Isabella and all his family and friends,” said a Rangers FC statement.

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Paul Dollery

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