That old cliché of football being so much more important than life and death is pure and utter nonsense. At the end of the day, it's a game that helps us all enjoy life a little bit more but there's so much more to think about. If you need any proof of that then you just need to take a look at the reception that was rolled out for Fernando Ricksen at Celtic Park last night.
Ricksen formed a key part of the Rangers team between 2000 and 2006 and in that time, he became a hero at Ibrox which sure enough made him hated on the other side of Glasgow. But hatred in football is temporary. Ricksen revealed he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2013 and he has made a number of public appearances since that with the extent of the horrible disease becoming increasingly apparent.
Last night, he made another appearance and this one was a bit special as he returned to Celtic Park for the first time as a guest of the club.
Prior to KO tonight, former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen was at the Jimmy Johnstone statue (NM) pic.twitter.com/cNlqQDNOrd
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 26, 2015
The messages on the various Celtic social media pages really do go to show that there's so much more to life than football with John Hartson's sentiment being particular notable.
Ricksen posted the following message on Facebook ahead of last night's match.
It's horrible situation and a horrible disease but it's great to see Ricksen facing it with such dignity and strength.