Ex-Rangers Captain Dies After Battle With Motor Neurone Disease
Ricksen/Sky Sports

Former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen has, after a long battle with motor neurone disease, died aged 43.

The Dutchman, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in October 2013, passed away in a hospice on Wednesday morning.

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Rangers released a statement following his death.

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

“Fernando spent six trophy-laden seasons at Ibrox having initially joined a number of other Dutch players under manager Dick Advocaat in the summer of 2000.”

Ricksen, a midfielder who could also play at right-back, won two Scottish titles, two Scottish Cups and three League Cups in a six-year spell at Ibrox after joining Rangers in 2000.

He moved to Zenit St Petersburg in 2006, initially on loan, where he won a Russian title and the UEFA Cup, beating Rangers in the final in 2008. Ricksen returned to Holland to finish his career with Fortuna.

A benefit match for the Dutchman, held at Ibrox in January 2015, saw over 41,000 fans attend Ibrox and raised £320,000 with the proceeds split between Fernando, his daughter Isabella, MND Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.