Fernando Ricksen hailed by Peter Lawwell as 'courageous, brave and inspirational' as he leads Celtic tributes

A Celtic scarf tied to the gates at Ibrox as fans leave tributes for Fernando Ricksen
A Celtic scarf tied to the gates at Ibrox as fans leave tributes for Fernando Ricksen
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Peter Lawwell has paid tribute to former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen, after the Dutchman passed away at the age of 43 after battling motor neurone disease.

Celtic posted a statement on their website, reading: "Everyone at Celtic Park was saddened by the news that former Rangers player, Fernando Ricksen has sadly passed away."

• READ MORE - Fernando Ricksen, Rangers legend and former Netherlands international, dies at 43


Peter Lawwell, Celtic Chief Executive added: “Everyone at Celtic would like to extend their most sincere and heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Fernando Ricksen following today’s news that he has passed away.

“Fernando was part of Scottish Football for a number of years and for him to be taken so young is a huge tragedy.

“He fought this terrible condition with such courage and we should all admire and respect the inspirational way in which he tackled the challenge which he faced.

“He showed immense bravery throughout. Our thoughts and prayers of course are with Fernando’s family and friends at such a difficult time.”

Former Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who had his own health issues, posted his own tribute to Ricksen on social media.

• READ MORE - 'A true fighter on and off the pitch' - Ex-Celtic star Stiliyan Petrov pays tribute to friend and Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen