RANGERS manager Steven Gerrard has led the tributes from the Old Firm for basketball legend Kobe Bryant who tragically died in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday.

The 39-year-old, who played for LA Galaxy from 2015 to 2016, shared an image of himself with the tragic star on his official Instagram. 

In the snap, Gerrard is seen holding an LA Galaxy jersey with Kobe's playing number 24. 

He said: "RIP Kobe."

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RIP kobe 🙏

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Kobe, who died aged 41, became a football fan during his childhood living in Italy where his father Joe played basketball after retiring from the NBA. Kobe, who speaks fluent Italian, supported AC Milan. 

The former LA Lakers star, who was nicknamed Black Mamba, died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.

According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, there were a total of nine people on board the aircraft which crashed near Calabasas. 

Other players from Celtic and Rangers took to social media to pay tribute to the legendary basketball player who won five championships. 

Rangers star James Tavernier said: "Rest easy legend."

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No word ... totally in shock 😭😱 RIP BLACK MAMBA 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💔

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Celtic's Christopher Jullien said he was in total shock over the news of the death.

He said: "No word...totally in shock. RIP Black Mamba."

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Legends live for ever you will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time #RipKobe&Gianna #Mamba #24❤️😢

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Former Celtic player Moussa Dembele added: "Legends live forever. You will be remembered as one of the greatest. RIP Kobe and Gianna."