The biographer of former Rangers star Fernando Ricksen has confirmed the Dutchman will still be attending a charity dinner in Glasgow after originally being blocked from leaving Spain, where he has a holiday home.
Since 2013 Ricksen has had Motor Neurone Disease, which led to KLM stopping him boarding a flight from Valencia to Amsterdam. Ricksen was prevented from getting on the Netherlands bound flight because staff didn’t believe he would be able to unfasten his own seatbelt, and deemed it a safety issue.
Speaking to AD.nl, Vincent de Vries claimed KLM were shocked into reversing the decision, after receiving bad publicity. De Vries said Ricksen had to pay extra for a new flight, but this has now been refunded by the airline.
“KLM was shocked by all the publicity, or they realised that they were wrong. At first he had to pay €600 extra for the new flight. But ultimately he can make the same exact flight which was scheduled for yesterday at no extra charge,” explained De Vries.
The former Rangers player is set to attend a charity dinner on Saturday at Glasgow’s Thistle Hotel, an event to raise money for Ricksen’s MND Foundation. Former Rangers manager Alex McCleish, who was in charge of Ricksen at Ibrox, is expected to make a speech.
De Vries said that whilst it’s great news Ricksen can attend, it’s a shame he’s had to go through this: “It is a pity that Fernando now has two flights in one day. That’s a bit much, he really needs a rest. But we are very happy that he could be there tomorrow.”
Ricksen spent six seasons with Rangers, and became a favourite with the Ibrox faithful. In total he played 182 league games for Rangers, scoring 13 goals.