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Rangers players and fans gather for Fernando Ricksen funeral

Rangers stars past and present were among thousands of mourners who gathered in Glasgow for the funeral of the club’s former player Fernando Ricksen.

The Rangers first team stood at the front door of Ibrox, joining supporters who lined the streets outside the stadium, to pay tribute to Ricksen as his funeral cortege drove past before the service at Wellington Church in Glasgow’s west end.

His former Rangers team-mates Michael Mols, Thomas Buffel and Nacho Novo wore black shirts with Ricksen’s name and number two on the back as they carried his coffin into the church.

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The Dutch defender died last week aged 43 at a hospice in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, following a motor neurone disease diagnosis six years ago.

Shortly before the cortege’s arrival at Ibrox, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard and the first team were dropped off by a coach at the stadium.

Tributes which had been left at the gates to the ground had grown in number since the Dutchman’s death, with more tops, scarves and flowers lain by well-wishers on Wednesday.

Pallbearer’s including former Rangers players Michael Mols, Nacho Novo and Thomas Buffel carry the coffin of Fernando Ricksen

Pallbearer’s including former Rangers players Michael Mols, Nacho Novo and Thomas Buffel carry the coffin of Fernando Ricksen (Andrew Milligan/PA).

Ricksen’s wife and family, also wearing black football tops with his surname and number on the back, left the cars and went into the stadium for a few minutes.

Fans had thrown scarves and roses among the tributes which lay across the vehicles.

His family was greeted with more applause as the cortege left, piped away from Ibrox with a bagpiper, on the way to the church.

Thousands gathered outside Ibrox for the funeral procession of Fernando Ricksen

Thousands gathered outside Ibrox for the funeral procession of Fernando Ricksen (Jane Barlow/PA).

The crowds gathered on the road outside the church applauded when the coffin was taken up the church steps.

Tore Andre Flo, Neil McCann and Peter Lovenkrands, all former team-mates of Ricksen, were also among the mourners, along with ex-Rangers players Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant.

The current Rangers team were represented at the funeral by manager Gerrard, his assistant McAllister and goalkeeper Allan McGregor, while Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who came up against Ricksen in his playing days, was also in attendance.

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