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  1. ITV Report

'I'm going to beat this, however impossible it may seem': Ex-Rangers player Fernando Ricksen speaks at fundraiser

The 42-year-old Dutchman said he is Credit: ITV News

Former Rangers footballer Fernando Ricksen, who is terminally ill, has said he is "going to beat" Motor Neurone Disease however impossible it may seem.

The 42-year-old Dutchman spoke at a charity fundraiser for MND, his last public appearance, which was hosted by Go Glasgow Urban Hotel.

He was diagnosed with the crippling disease in 2013, just a few months after he retired from professional football and his condition has been deteriorating over a six-year period.

Ricksen, using his eyes to type sentences into a computer, said: "I told you before I'm going to beat this, how impossible it may seem."

When asked what his favourite memory is he said: "I think I surprised a lot of people especially the medical department but not myself.

"They gave me half a year to nine months, six years later I'm still here and still fighting."

His wife, Veronika told ITV News she had felt "up and down" during the past six years and is finding it difficult without Fernando at home.

She said: "For now, for me I guess it's the hardest time for me in six years to being at home alone without Fernando."

Mrs Ricksen added: "That is the hardest time because when you get used to everyday things for what I did for him, five years of taking care of him alone, and it's just like taking half of my body away from me, I don't know, I feel quite lost."

She continued: "Every day I wake up, I have to bring Bella to school, I bring her to school and I come back home and I don't know what to do, I can't find myself because he's not home and I don't know what to do without him."

Mrs Ricksen also told ITV News that her daughter Bella is too young to fully understand so they've just told her that her dad is getting old now.

"We're happy to keep it this way she thinks that her dad is different, she thinks he's old, she told me all this 'Mama, papa is old, can you help him', I said 'of course I can'," she said.

"For me it's the best way for her to think that it's like this for now, because I think she's still too little," she added.

During his prime, Ricksen won two league titles, three league cups and two Scottish cups between 2000 and 2006 while at Rangers.

His condition has left him bed-bound and he is being looked after at St Andrew's hospice, where he knows he will spend his final few days.