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Ricksen set for one 'final appearance' after MND worsens

 

Stuck in: Rangers ace Fernando Ricksen tackles Linfield’s Jamie Mulgrew in Belfast in 2006
Stuck in: Rangers ace Fernando Ricksen tackles Linfield’s Jamie Mulgrew in Belfast in 2006
Fernando Ricksen
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen is set to make his final public appearance after symptoms from his motor neurone disease worsened.

The former Ibrox player has battled the condition for six years after being diagnosed in 2013.

In a post on social media from his hospice bed in Airdrie, Ricksen said he would be making his "final appearance" on June 28 as his condition makes it "very difficult".

The post resulted in an outpouring of support from football fans across the world.

Both Rangers and Celtic fans united in response to the post, urging Ricksen to "keep fighting".

The 42-year-old urged fans to come out and make it a "night to remember".

Ricksen's illness has robbed him of his voice and he now communicates through a speech-generating device.

The father-of-one recently told the Scottish Sun that he had accepted the end was near.

"I know I will stay in this hospice for the rest of my life," he said.

"I have no other choice but to accept it."

He is set to appear at 'An Evening with Fernando Ricksen' at the GoGlasgow Urban Hotel on June 28.

Ricksen will be joined by former Rangers defender Marvin Andrews, football host David Tanner, comedian Dee Maxwell and singer Lynsey Glen.

Since his diagnosis, Ricksen has become heavily involved in fundraising to help those affected by the condition.

During six years at the Glasgow giants, Ricksen won two Premiership 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 for 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.

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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