Rangers legend Fernando Ricksen has revealed that a fundraiser this month will be his ‘final appearance’ after six years battling motor-neurone disease.
In an emotional video filmed from his hospice bed, the 42-year-old ex-Holland player tells his fans it is now ‘very difficult’ to attend public events.
Speaking through a speech-generating device at St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie, he says: ‘Hello. I’m having a special night on the 28th. “Since it’s getting very difficult for me, this will be my final night. Come and make this a night to remember. Hopefully see you soon, Fernando.’
Ricksen was in the Rangers squad from 2000-2006, during which time he won two titles, three League Cups and two Scottish Cups.
An Evening with Fernando Ricksen will be held at GoGlasgow Urban Hotel, with TV football host David Tanner, ex-Rangers centre-back Marvin Andrews, comedian Dee Maxwell and singer Lynsey Glen also appearing. Tickets cost £70.
While fighting the disease, the former Holland international has been raising cash for others suffering from MND.
A documentary titled ‘Fernando Ricksen – The Final Battle’ chronicled his struggle. Director Ronald Top said he was inspired by a tattoo on the former player reading: ‘I am a warrior. A warrior with a fighting spirit. I will never give up and never surrender.’
Fans across the world sent Ricksen words of support as they wrote messages to him on social media.