Fernando Ricksen has been hailed as a fighter by Celtic chief Peter Lawwell who remembered the ex-Rangers star as a pillar of Scottish football.

Ricksen tragically lost his fight with motor neurone disease this morning and tributes have come flooding in from around Scotland and the rest of the world.

Hoops hero Stiliyan Petrov has also paid heartfelt tribute to the Dutchman.

But Celts CEO Lawwell released a statement on behalf of his club and sent condolences to Ricksen's wife Veronika and daughter Isabella, six.

Mr Lawwell said: "Everyone at Celtic would like to extend their most sincere and heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Fernando Ricksen following today’s news that he has passed away.

Tributes pour in for ex-Rangers star Ricksen after he loses battle with motor neurone disease

"Fernando was part of Scottish Football for a number of years and for him to be taken so young is a huge tragedy.

"He fought this terrible condition with such courage and we should all admire  and respect the inspirational way in which he tackled the challenge which he faced.

"He showed immense bravery throughout. 

"Our thoughts and prayers of course are with Fernando’s family and friends at such a difficult time."