Emotional video highlights true stature of Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen
Photo by VI Images via Getty Images

Emotional video shows true stature of Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen

For most clubs, a player from a different country comes in and makes his new club an immediate home on only a handful of occasions.
But at Rangers, it is rarer that they don’t. Almost all those who come through the doors of Ibrox never truly leave. Brian Laudrup. Nacho Novo. Fernando Ricksen.
Three names, amongst many more, who became one of us; who are one of us. And for the last few years one of our own has needed our support.

Ricksen, a noticeably smart man by all accounts, has been struck with one of the most imprisoning diseases known to man.
Motor Neurone Disease is a truly awful thing. There’s no way to butter this debilitating, frustrating, horrible illness up. It destroys the body whilst keeping the mind, by all accounts, intact.
Ricksen is like every other 42-year-old man with a family, trapped inside a body which will not work how he desires it to. It’s fucking tragic.

Fernando Ricksen – Rangers captain. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

But as he did on the pitch, in the same way he won a place in every Rangers fan’s heart, Ricksen has proudly stood up to it.
From the early symptoms all the way up to his final residence in an Airdrie Hospice, Ricksen has never once shied away from his ailment or his responsibility to it.
It’s that fighting spirit that made the Dutchman a Rangers captain. It’s why he’ll always be remembered as one.

Ricksen lifted seven trophies at Ibrox, making over 200 appearances for Rangers across six seasons. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

Fernando has realised that he’s lived a life of privilege through his footballing ability. And now the cloud of this disease has gripped him, he remains committed to raising money for and awareness of the illness for those who suffer from it alongside him, and those who will after him.
He has never once given up. He has never once surrendered.

Ricksen was famous for his tenacity in Old Firm derbies. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

And watching him discuss why his next appearance – at the GoGlasgow Urban Hotel on Friday, June 28th – will be his last publically, would have the hardest man in Glasgow welling up, blue or green.
Whatever happens from here, Fernando won’t just go down as a Rangers legend, but a great man who, in the face of challenges most of us cannot ever imagine, chose to use the last of his energies to fight it. And to invite us to fight it with him.
No surrender Fernando Ricksen.

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