Rangers plan tribute game for Fernando Ricksen

Fernando Ricksen: 'Emotional'. Picture: Robert Perry

Fernando Ricksen: 'Emotional'. Picture: Robert Perry

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RANGERS will host a tribute game at Ibrox between Rangers Legends and an All Stars team in honour of former captain Fernando Ricksen, who has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

The 38-year-old Dutchman – who enjoyed a successful career with Rangers between 2000 and 2006 and captained them to the SPL title in 2005 – revealed his condition during a TV interview in Holland.

The game, the date of which is still to be confirmed, will feature a host of footballing greats and the profits will be split equally four ways between Ricksen, his daughter Isabella, Motor Neurone Disease Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

Rangers chairman David Somers said: “Everyone associated with Rangers Football Club is thinking of Fernando at this difficult time and it will be our pleasure to host this tribute game which, importantly, will also benefit the wonderful work of the Rangers Charity Foundation and MND Scotland.

“Our thoughts are with Fernando, his family and friends and we will look forward to welcoming Fernando to Ibrox on Saturday.”

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Rangers manager Ally McCoist commented: “We will support Fernando and his family in any way we can and are delighted to be hosting a benefit game in his honour at Ibrox Stadium.

“He enjoyed a fantastic career at Rangers, notably captaining Rangers to the title in 2005 at Easter Road, and I know our fans will turn out in huge numbers to show their support for him.”

Ricksen said: “I want to thank everyone for the many messages of support I have received since I was diagnosed.

“The countless emails and tweets, thousands of replies, the banners and the minute’s applause on the stands at Fortuna Sittard, AZ, Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg have been fantastic.

“I also wish to thank Rangers Football Club for organising this game. My years in Glasgow were very special and I have no doubt it will be an emotional day for me when I return to Ibrox Stadium once again for such a special occasion. The support from Rangers fans has meant the world to me.”

Further details about the match will be announced in the coming weeks, including ticketing information and the team line-ups.

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