Rangers hero Fernando Ricksen speaks about his ‘final appearance’ in a heart-breaking video filmed from his hospice bed as he battles devastating motor neurone disease
- Fernando Ricksen has been battling motor neurone disease for past six years
- He filmed an emotional video for his fans from St Andrew’s Hospice, Airdrie
- Played for Glasgow Rangers from 2000 to 2006, winning two Scottish Cups
Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen has revealed that a fundraiser this month will be his ‘final appearance’ after six years battling motor-neurone disease.
In an emotional video filmed from his hospice bed, the 42-year-old ex-Holland player tells his fans it is now ‘very difficult’ to attend public events.
Speaking through a speech-generating device at St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie, he says: ‘Hello. I’m having a special night on the 28th. “Since it’s getting very difficult for me, this will be my final night. Come and make this a night to remember. Hopefully see you soon, Fernando.’
Ricksen was in the Rangers squad from 2000-2006, during which time he won two titles, three League Cups and two Scottish Cups.
An Evening with Fernando Ricksen will be held at GoGlasgow Urban Hotel, with TV football host David Tanner, ex-Rangers centre-back Marvin Andrews, comedian Dee Maxwell and singer Lynsey Glen also appearing. Tickets cost £70.
Fernando Ricksen (left, in his hospice bed, and, right, playing for Rangers) has revealed that a fundraiser later this month will be his final appearance
While fighting the disease, the former Netherlands captain has been raising cash for others suffering from MND.
A documentary titled ‘Fernando Ricksen – The Final Battle’ chronicled his struggle. Director Ronald Top said he as inspired by a tattoo on the former player reading: ‘I am a warrior. A warrior with a fighting spirit. I will never give up and never surrender.’
Fans across the world sent Ricksen words of support as they wrote messages to him on social media.
Ricksen (pictured with his wife, Veronika, left, and, right, at the IBrox) has been battling the disease for six years
Pictured: Veronika hugs her husband as their daughter Isabella looks on during a benefit game in Sittard, Netherlands
Ricksen (pictured with his wife, Veronika, and his daughter, Isabelle) spoke to his fans in a heart-breaking video filmed from his hospice bed
Fernando Ricksen is pictured walking onto the pitch at the Ibrox for a tribute match following his devastating diagnosis
One said: ‘There is only one Fernando Ricksen. No colours no rivalry- only love from one human being to another.’
Another wrote: ‘I’ve said a prayer Fernando, keep strong, your family must be so proud of you’.
Describing him as ‘a true fighter in every sense and meaning of the word’, one urged him: ‘Keep strong Fernando.’
Ricksen also played for AZ and Zenit Saint Petersburg during his career, winning 12 international caps for the Netherlands.
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