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FERNANDO RICKSEN 1976-2019: Right to the end his courage was beyond dispute

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Indomitable in spirit, impulsive in his actions and often inspiring on the pitch, few who have graced Scottish football brought as much colour or character as Fernando Ricksen.

His death aged just 43 will be mourned by a Rangers support whose adoration Ricksen reciprocated after six years and seven trophies in their colours.

Named Player of the Year in 2005 by his fellow professionals - an award he shared with John Hartson after a tie in the voting - Ricksen captained Rangers to their iconic Helicopter Sunday title triumph at Easter Road. It was the crowning glory of his time in Glasgow.

While Ricksen would later thrive as a midfielder, he was a right back when Dick Advocaat spent £4million to sign him from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2000.

The incident prompted Ricksen to accept an invitation to the Sporting Chance clinic in Hampshire to address the alcohol issues that had previously helped to end his Holland career after 12 caps.

Russia brought another league title in 2007, although Ricksen wasn't actively involved in the victory over Rangers in the following year's UEFA Cup final.

The courage with which he faced the disease earned Ricksen renewed love and respect even from those who had known him for many years.

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