Ally McCoist has paid a fitting tribute to Rangers icon and ‘lad full of fun’ Fernando Ricksen, who passed away this week after a battle with motor neurone disease.
The Glasgow club confirmed their former full-back’s passing on Wednesday. He was just 43 and is survived by his wife and daughter.
Ricksen was a key figure at Ibrox during his six-year spell with the Gers, winning two Scottish titles, plus the league, Scottish Cup and League Cup treble in the 2003/04 season. He was also the joint winner of the SPFA Player of the Year gong in 2004/05.
And while he didn’t play alongside him in blue shirt, McCoist had a close friendship with his follow Rangers hero and hailed him as a ‘fighter’ after his tragic death.
“What a fight and what a fighter,” Ally said on Thursday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“He was incredible. He tried to raise as much money as he possibly could, even in the last months of his illness, for others suffering from the illness
“He was a real fighter and I can’t help but think of his wife Veronika and his wee daughter Isabella. It’s a real tragedy.
“It’s certainly brought Scottish football together, a lot of the clubs up in Scotland came out with some lovely messages.
“It’s very sad.”
McCoist said the highest praise he could pay Ricksen is that he would have slotted right into the all-conquering Rangers side of the 90s alongside himself and Paul Gascoigne that won nine Scottish first division titles in a row.
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“The biggest compliment I can pay Fernando – and he was a lad full of fun and there was never a dull moment – is that he was daft enough that he wouldn’t have looked out of place in our squad with Gascoigne and others like that.
“Don’t get me wrong he could play as well. You don’t play for your country if you’re not a player. But some of the stories – he was a real character.”