Belfast Telegraph

Fernando Ricksen tribute confirmed ahead of Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifier in the Netherlands

Fernando Ricksen enjoyed a six-year spell with Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Fernando Ricksen enjoyed a six-year spell with Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Rangers fans with a banner in memory of former player Fernando Ricksen before the UEFA Europa League Group G match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 19, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Rangers. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Netherlands and Northern Ireland fans will have the opportunity to pay tribute to Rangers hero Fernando Ricksen ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday.

A minute's applause for Ricksen and fellow former Netherlands international Humphrey Mijnals will take place inside Rotterdam's De Kuip stadium before kick-off.

Ricksen passed away last month aged 43 at a hospice in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, following a motor neurone disease diagnosis six years ago.

He faced his fate head-on, bravely setting up a foundation in his own name to lead the search for a cure that might save others from the ravages of the muscle-wasting disease.

Ricksen won 12 caps for the Netherlands, all during his six year spell at Rangers, where he won two league titles and two Scottish Cups.

His friend and biographer Vincent de Vries tweeted: "No minute of silence for the late Fernando Ricksen before Holland v Northern Ireland this Thursday in Rotterdam, but a full De Kuip-stadium, including both teams, is going to give the orange hero a BIG HAND"

Mijnals passed away in July aged 88. He won three caps for the Netherlands before going on to represent Surinam, where he was born. In 1999, he was named Surinamese footballer of the century and went on to be presented with the Sports Medal of the city of Utrecht, where he played at club level.

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