Monday 31 July 2017


FERNANDO Ricksen battled against the odds to greet hundreds of his awaiting fans last night at his 41st birthday party in Spain.

The stricken Rangers legend has been suffering from Motor Neurone Disease after being diagnosed with it in October 2013.
Despite failing health, Fernando and his wife Veronika attended a special party in his honour at the Ibrox Bar in Benidorm.

Locals as well as dedicated fans from around the world gathered at the bar adorned with the famous blue and white memorabilia and team kit in the holiday resort to pay their respects and wish the Dutch star and former right back and right midfielder a happy 41st birthday.
After fighting against the debilitating disease, at the eleventh hour Fernando admitted it was touch and go whether he could attend the bash. met up with Fernando near his home in Valencia to give him a special present of a personalised front page of The Sunday Post before we headed to the party with him in Benidorm.
Opening his gift, he said "Thankyou. It's great."
Veronica added:"I feel like a small child opening his present for him."
 Making the two hour journey from his home in the sweltering heat of Valencia to the bar in the Costa Blanca, Veronica and Fernando said: "We'd love to stay in Benidorm tonight but we can't. We have to get back for our four year old daughter Isabella. It is too much for her to make the journey tonight and too late for her."
Fernando summoned all his strength to attend the birthday bash. In the days before the event, he said he had had some bad days but that the love of the fans gave him the power to go on.
He added: "I'm tried but still ok."
Footballers including Nacho Novo, Marco Negri and Michael Mols had sent messages of support to the star on his birthday two days ago while Alex McLeish had earlier joked via a personal message that he was sorry he couldn't make it but hadn't been invited.
Rangers FC also told fans: "Please join us in wishing #Rangers Hall of Fame inductee Fernando Ricksen a very happy birthday today!"
Fernando himself said he was extremely excited about the party and specifically asked organisers to play some Rangers anthems as well as his theme song and Abba classic Fernando.
In the weeks running up to the event had also asked bar owner Wilma Wallace to make everyone feel relaxed and to help raise money for his MND charity The Fernando Ricksen MND Foundation.
Wilma who was originally from Dunbarton before moving to Clydebank in Glasgow decked out the blue and white themed bar with messages of congratulations for the Rangers legend.
She added: "We are thrilled to welcome Fernando here again. He likes things very relaxed, the same as other punters do. It was always going to be a casual affair with a chance for fans to get up close with their idol. Tonight was all about making Fernando feel special and we have hundreds of people who have taken over the terraces here tonight.
"The most important thing was that people could see him and get their picture taken with him. I myself have been a Fernando fan ever since he's been in Rangers. He was always the best looking and a wild boy. He is a legend and we were honoured to host his birthday here. He has come to the bar to celebrate his birthday for the last three years."
We have organised special Fernando cocktails with vodka, peach schnapps, blue balls and lemonade and we also presented his charity with a large cheque this evening."
Last year was an important birthday for him because it was his fortieth and every year makes it so much more special that he is fighting the disease and making his plight known. He wants to let people know what it is like living with motor neurone disease and raise money for his charity."
Excerpts of this article have since appeared inThe  Sunday Post.

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