Ricksen succumbs to motor neurone disease

Tanya Simon
September 20, 2019

Ricksen started and ended his football career at Fortuna in 1997 and 2013, and played for AZ, Rangers FC, FC Zenit, and the Dutch national team in between.

Fernando had been suffering for a long time since his diagnosis but regularly attended events to raise funds and awareness despite the pain he was in.

Gerrard had said a victory in his side's Europa League Group G opener would be a fitting way to celebrate the life of fans' favourite Ricksen, who died on Wednesday after a long battle with motor neurone disease, and Ojo's first-half victor was enough to secure it.

Ricksen had been bravely battling the degenerative disease for over six years.

"Fernando Ricksen", filmed in 2015, charts the late Dutchman's lengthy battle with the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Meanwhile Scottish club Glasgow Rangers said on its website that the club was saddened over Ricksen's death.

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

Ricksen eventually left Rangers and joined Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg where he was reunited with Advocaat.

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Ricksen was labelled a "true warrior" by Peter Lovenkrands.

In an Instagram post, the Dane wrote: "You looked after me when we signed at Rangers together, taking me back and forward to training because I didn't have a auto, great memories on and off the pitch!"

"Everyone at Zenit wishes to express our honest condolences to the family and friends of Fernando Ricksen".

Despite the huge miss, Rangers proved their quality in the end, putting in an impressive shift across both ends of the pitch.

Van Der Vaart wrote on Twitter: "You've spent the last few years fighting like a warrior, just like you always did on the pitch".

The Feyenoord manager said: "Rangers gave us a lot of space to play football and we didn't use it, we never made the right choices".

"Our condolences go to his family and Glasgow Rangers as well".

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