Celtic donate £10,000 to MND and Fernando Ricksen

Fernando Ricksen is blocked by Bobby Petta and Neil Lennon in a 2001 Old Firm derby. Picture: Robert Perry
Fernando Ricksen is blocked by Bobby Petta and Neil Lennon in a 2001 Old Firm derby. Picture: Robert Perry
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Celtic’s charity foundation has donated £10,000 to Fernando Ricksen and Motor Neurone Disease Association Scotland ahead of a fundraising game for the former Rangers player.

Ricksen returns to Ibrox on Sunday as a team of former Rangers players takes on an all-stars side managed by former Ibrox defender Graham Roberts.

Picture: SNS

Picture: SNS

The Dutchman, who was twice sent off in Old Firm derbies during a six-year spell in Glasgow, announced he was suffering from the fatal disease in October 2013.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “We are pleased to be able to make a donation which will assist both Fernando’s family and MND Scotland.

“At Celtic, unfortunately we are all too familiar with MND and its devastating effects. Jimmy Johnstone, the man voted Celtic’s greatest ever player, fought bravely against this illness as did former player John Cushley, someone who gave so many years’ service to the club.

“We would like also to take this opportunity to send our thoughts and best wishes to Fernando and his family.”

Former Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram will play in the game and he paid tribute to Ricksen after meeting the 38-year-old again.

“I’ve been in his company several times – before the illness and since he’s had the illness and it is heartbreak,” Goram told the Rangers website.

“He is battling this like he was on the pitch, he was fearless and met things head on and fought everything in his way.

“He’s always been a good player and he’s been the same off the pitch with the disease – he’s fighting it head on and you’ve got to take your hat off to him.

“I’ve got all the respect in the world for him and he’s certainly the bravest man I’ve ever met.”