EX-RANGERS star David Hagen has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease - the same illness which has struck down former Ibrox ace Fernando Ricksen.

The Edinburgh-born footballer's former club Falkirk issued a statement on Tuesday evening to confirm he is battling the incurable illness at the age of 45.

HeraldScotland:

Margaret Lang, Chairwoman of Falkirk Football Club, said: “The club is aware of rumours that have arisen on social media forums regarding the health and well-being of former Falkirk player David Hagen.

“To prevent further speculation and further attempts by the media to visit him at home – and in consultation with David’s family – the club can confirm he has very recently been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

“The club is providing to David and his family our fullest support, and would ask that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

HeraldScotland:

Footie writer Jeff Holmes, who has penned several books about Rangers, has launched an online auction to raise funds for the player who made his Ibrox debut aged 19 under Walter Smith.

He said: "Sad to hear ex-Ranger David Hagen has Motor Neurone Disease.

"David was part of our great 92/93 squad and is just 45. I'm auctioning seven Rangers books I've written."

Hagen, who also played for Clyde and Hearts, is the latest footballer to be diagnosed with the illness.

HeraldScotland:

Former Ranger star Ricksen has been battling with MND since 2013 while Celtic hero Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone  died in 2006 at the age of 61 - five years after being diagnosed with the disease.