Rio Ferdinand is mourning the loss of his mother, Janice St Fort, who has died at the age of 58.
The footballer announced on Thursday (13 July) that his mother had died following a battle with cancer, remembering her as an “inspiration” and “the centre and the heart” of his family.
In a joint statement, he and his family said: “We are heartbroken to announce that our amazing mum Janice passed away today after an ongoing battle with cancer.
“She was an inspiration to us all and was loved by everyone who knew her. She died at Guy’s Cancer Unit, London Bridge Hospital, with her loving husband Peter and us, her four children, at her bedside.
“She was a devoted mother to us all, and she was the most incredible grandmother to our children.
“The whole family are devastated. Our mum was the centre and the heart of our family and has supported us all through many difficult times, always with a smile on her face.
“Her strength and courage, as well as her great sense of humour and immense kindness, were never-ending.”
Highlighting the work done by the medical team throughout Janice’s cancer battle, they continued: “We would like to thank all the staff at Guy’s Cancer Unit for looking after our mum so well during her illness, especially Marta and Joanna, as well as everyone who has sent kind wishes to us all during this difficult time.”
The death of his mother is the second major loss for Rio in recent years, having lost his wife Rebecca Ellison to breast cancer in 2015.
Since then, Rio has repeatedly spoken candidly about coping with grief, particularly as a single father, including in the documentary ‘Being Mum And Dad’.