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Fernando Ricksen


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Fernando Ricksen’s Testimonial: A special Night For Fernando

 

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FRIENDS and former team-mates travelled to Sittard in Holland on Sunday to take part in Fernando Ricksen’s Testimonial and help raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease.

The 37-year-old former Ibrox star is currently battling with the illness and he couldn’t hide his emotions on a special night in which so many players and fans turned up to show their support.

Over 200 Rangers fans made the journey to the Dutch city to salute their former captain and they got to watch several familiar faces in action with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Ronald de Boer, Nacho Novo, Shota Arveladze, Thomas Buffel and Ronald Waterreus pulling on their boots again.

Former Holland stars Michael Reiziger, Nordin Wooter, Mark van Bommel, Danny Lanzaat and Roy Makaay also joined Ukrainian legend Anatoly Tymoshchukin in Fernando’s Select side that went on to beat his first club Fortuna 5-2.

The score of course was irrelevant although it was fitting that with just a minute left to play Ricksen made a substitute appearance and he netted his side’s fifth goal from the penalty spot. Nacho Novo also marked the occasion with a brace which included a terrific lob from the half-way line.

At the final whistle Ricksen was swamped by both sets of players and carried shoulder high in front of fans who then dropped massive banners of him from the roof of a stand which will be renamed in his honour.

Van Bronckhorst was delighted to be there for his close friend, he said: “Fernando was a well-liked player, he was loved by the people he played for and by the fans of the clubs he represented.

“We all turned out because he meant a lot to us as a former colleague and it was a very nice tribute to him to hold the match.

“We were colleagues of his at Rangers and I have good memories of that time.

“It was a nice gesture that supporters travelled across from Glasgow to be here for Fernando.

“The pair of us will always hold Rangers as a special club in our careers.â€

 

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Over 200 Rangers fans made the journey to the Dutch city to salute their former captain and they got to watch several familiar faces in action with Giovanni Van Bronckhorst, Ronald de Boer, Nacho Novo, Shota Arveladze, Thomas Buffel and Ronald Waterreus pulling on their boots again.

 

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Last picture shows what the game meant to Fernando. A great night for him. So good to see so many of his former teammates turn-out for him and Rangers fans travelling over. As it says the score was irrelevant. Raising awareness of Motor Neurone Disease is far more important. Proves that there are far more important things in life that football.

 

All the very best to you, Fernando.

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Rangers will be holding a tribute to Ricksen game. Date to be confirmed. Good that the club is doing this and monies raised will go to worthy causes.

 

http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/8021-ricksen-tribute-game-confirmed

 

RANGERS has today confirmed it will host a tribute game at Ibrox Stadium between Rangers Legends and an All Stars team in honour of former captain Fernando Ricksen, who is attending this Saturday’s match at Ibrox as a guest of the Club.

The tribute match will take place at a date to be announced shortly.

Everyone associated with the Club was shocked to hear the sad news Fernando had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and he remains in our thoughts as he continues to fight this cruel illness.

The 38-year-old Dutchman – who enjoyed a successful career with the Light Blues between 2000 and 2006 and famously captained Rangers to the SPL title at Easter Road on Helicopter Sunday in 2005 – revealed his condition during a TV interview in Holland and has received messages of support from the football world ever since.

The game will feature a host of footballing greats in a match that is sure to capture the imagination of the Light Blue legions.

All profits from the game will be split equally four ways between Fernando, his daughter Isabella, Motor Neurone Disease Scotland and the Rangers Charity Foundation.

Rangers Chairman David Somers commented: “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.â€

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.â€

Fernando Ricksen commented: “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.â€

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

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Fernando will be at Ibrox tomorrow as a guest of the club also

That's good. Will get a great reception. I read earlier that the game is to be played on 25 January. Don't think we've got a game that weekend so may go up for it. Can stay with my family in Larkhall. 

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This is very sad. I've seen a close friend of mine suffer from the same disease and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, even my worst enemy.

 

Great to see Rangers having a tribute game for him. 

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