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Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen dead at 43

Fernando Ricksen
Fernando Ricksen
Fernando Ricksen lifts the SPL Trophy during his time at Rangers.

Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen has passed away at the age of 43 after a six-year battle with motor neurone disease.

Ricksen passed away at a hospice just outside Glasgow where he spent the final months of his life.

The former Holland international had remained in the public eye during his battle with the condition after being diagnosed in 2013.

After his diagnosis Ricksen became heavily involved in fundraising to help those affected by the condition.

He made his final public appearance at an event in Glasgow in June after telling fans his condition was making life "very difficult".

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Fernando Ricksen lifts the SPL Trophy during his time at Rangers.

Rangers announced news of Ricksen's death in an statement.

"Rangers is deeply saddened to announce that former player Fernando Ricksen passed away this morning following his battle with motor neuron disease," the club said.

“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.

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

During his time at the Glasgow giants Ricksen won two SPL titles, two Scottish Cups and three Scottish League Cups.

He was named Player of the Year in 2005 after scoring nine goals as Rangers clinched a league and cup double.

Ricksen was known from his combative nature on and off the field and was loved by the Ibrox faithful.

He was inducted into the Rangers Hall of Fame in 2014 and a January 2015 benefit match at Ibrox raised more than £320,000 with more than 41,000 fans in attendance.

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Fernando Ricksen tackles Celtic's Henrik Larsson during an Old Firm game.

Ricksen, who was at home in defence or midfield made 12 appearances for the Dutch national team and also represented Fortuna Sittard, AZ Alkmaar and Zenit Saint Petersburg.

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Going Dutch: Fernando Ricksen (front row, centre) in the Holland team that played Argentina in 2003. The rest of the team was Ronald Waterreus, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mark van Bommel, Jaap Stam, Frank de Boer, Clarence Seedorf, Phillip Cocu, Boudewijn Zenden, Edgar Davids and Patrick Kluivert

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