Rangers star Fernando Ricksen has revealed he can’t bear the thought of telling his young daughter that he is battling motor neurone disease.
The 40-year-old is in a wheelchair after battling the disease for almost four years.
Now the ex-footballer has told how he tries to protect his daughter Isabella, four, from the realities of his terminal illness.
He said: “I haven’t told Isabella I have MND.
“She knows my condition is different to other dads, that I have ‘something’ but she doesn’t know the meaning of the disease. I think she it too young to understand it.”
The Dutch star said his daughter is “very happy and cheerful”.
“I was diagnosed when she was one year old. She’s used to me not speaking well either - this is what she knows me like.”
Ricksen was diagnosed with the muscle-wasting disease almost four years ago - and initially warned he may only have months to live.
He lives with wife Veronika and Isabella in Spain.
He said: “Veronika and Isabella help me so much. I couldn’t make it through this battle without them.
“They give me the power to keep positive and not to give up.”