Nacho Novo's illness left Rangers Legends team-mates in shock, says Derek Ferguson

Nacho Novo
Nacho Novo won three league titles, one Scottish Cup and two League Cups with Rangers

Derek Ferguson says the Rangers Legends team were in a state of shock after Nacho Novo was rushed to hospital in Germany on Saturday.

Novo, 38, had a heart procedure after being taken ill following a legends tournament in Berlin.

The Spaniard is in a stable condition but is expected to remain in hospital for at least a week.

"We were in shock and I think I still am in a bit of shock," former Rangers midfielder Ferguson told BBC Scotland.

"John Brown, who was in charge of the team, had to go to the hospital. A few of us sat together, I couldn't stop thinking about Nacho and we were all just sitting waiting on news.

"I was shocked to hear the next morning that he had undergone a procedure, and I don't know too much about it, but we knew they were trying to get cardiologists to the hospital.

Nacho Novo
Novo scored the winning penalty in a shootout as Rangers beat Fiorentina to reach the Uefa Cup final in 2008

"Sometimes you think you're invincible as a player, even when you get older as we play lots of these things, so it was shocking to hear that Nacho, at 38, had gone through a heart procedure.

"What we also found out is that his mother actually died from a heart attack at the age of 43.

"It was strange getting on the plane a man down, and I think they expect him to be in the hospital for a week."

Novo spent six years at Ibrox, netting 47 goals from 2004-2010, and became a fans' favourite during his time there.

He joined Ferguson, Michael Mols, Andy Goram, Marvin Andrews and others in the legends side that played in Berlin.

Ferguson described the event as "hard going," revealing it was towards the end of Rangers' second match that he realised something could be wrong with Novo.

"I noticed in the last five minutes he had come off and was leaning over the barrier," added Ferguson, who described Novo as a "cracking guy".

"He had a bag of ice on the back of his neck and you could see he was struggling. I didn't read too much into it because if you looked at a few other guys who were there, guys with good fitness, they were struggling at times as well, as was I. It was intense.

Nacho Novo
Novo has regularly played for Rangers Legends sides in recent years

"We had just been put out of the tournament, we lost the two games, we were back in the dressing room feeling a little sorry for ourselves, then the physio who was with Nacho got the paramedics in.

"We thought he was going for a quick check-up and then would be back with the group. We got showered and went upstairs to where they were holding a function, expecting Nacho to come back.

"Then the news came came through from one of the guys who was looking after us that Nacho had been rushed to hospital."

Rangers and Belfast side Glentoran, who Novo played for until May 2017, tweeted messages of support to the Spaniard and Ferguson revealed that former players from other clubs had called him to pass on their best wishes.

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