STRICKEN former Rangers midfielder Fernando Ricksen feared he was going to die after being admitted to hospital, his biographer has revealed.

The 42-year-old, who is battling Motor Neurone Disease, fell ill after a meet and greet night with fans at Ibrox on October 6.

He was rushed to hospital with chest pains but his condition was not thought to be life-threatening.

However, two weeks later, the former Holland international - who uses an electronic voicebox, similar to the device famously used by the late Sir Stephen Hawking, to communicate - was left close to death when a nurse accidentally removed his computer before lying him flat on his back after confusing him with another patient.

Ricksen's condition has left him unable to perform many basic functions and his lack of strength in his neck and chest means he must sleep in a upright position.

He was left stranded for two hours before a second nurse found him and raised the alarm, though he places no blame or ill-feeling on anyone involved in the accident.

His biographer Vincent de Vries revealed the former Gers favourite - who won two Scottish league titles at Ibrox, two Scottish Cups and three League Cup winners medals during his six year stay - feared he would not survive.

"He thought he was about to die," De Vries said.

"A nurse came in but got him confused with another patient. She said to him, 'Hey Peter, you don't need your computer. It's better to sleep now,' then she put the computer away.

"But for Fernando, the computer is so important. It's allows him to communicate and he can also use it to raise an alarm if he needs some help. He has it by his side 24 hours a day but without it he could not tell anyone he was struggling.

"Because she had confused him, she also lay him down flat in his bed. But that is impossible for him as he has such problems breathing now.

"Fernando has to sleep sitting up and his lungs are being emptied three times a day.

"The nurse then said, 'Okay, Peter, it's time to go to sleep'. She switched off the lights and then left the room. But Fernando now could not say anything or even move.

"He was so frightened because he could not scream for help or get to his computer.

"He was there for two terrible hours and was having so many problems breathing he feared he was going to die.

"Thankfully, another nurse came to check him and realised Fernando should not be lying flat.

"The doctors were still busy with him for a couple of hours because he was almost dead - but they did save him."

Ricksen now hopes to return to his home in Valencia once he is strong enough to make the seven-hour journey back to Spain.

"Fernando is not angry," said De Vries. "He is very happy with how they are treating him in the hospital. These things can happen - but I'm sure it won't happen again.

"Fernando is still confident. He still thinks he can fly back to Spain. The only problem is when."