15/07/2017 09:58 BST

Rio Ferdinand Posts Emotional Tribute To Mum, Janice St Fort, Following Her Death

'The way you have touched so many people’s hearts will live on.'

Rio Ferdinand has shared an emotional tribute to his mother, Janice St Fort, who died earlier this week.

The former footballer and his family announced the sad news on Thursday (13 July), explaining that Janice was suffering from cancer and had died at the Guy’s Cancer Unit, London Bridge Hospital.

Rio has now shared a post about his mum on Instagram, in which he calls her “the most selfless and giving person I have ever known.”

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

He writes: “The ability you had to make me feel loved at every moment in my life without even having to say it or be there by my side will never be forgotten.

“You were a fighter, a little fighter but with a huge heart. And you wore that heart on your sleeve throughout.

“All I ever wanted in life from as young as I can remember was to make you proud and I know I must of got somewhere near to doing that.... because your chest was puffed out as big as anyone’s whenever my name was mentioned or when you was in a stadium watching me play.

“You gave all of your life to make sure everything was ok for myself, my brothers, sister, your grandchildren & husband Peter (never mind the countless friends & family too).”

Laurence Griffiths via Getty Images
Rio Ferdinand 

Rio then thanks his mother for her support when his wife, Rebecca, died in 2015, following her own battle with breast cancer.

“At my most difficult time, you were my shining light & made it your mission to be there for me & my kids... trust me that will never forgotten,” he says. “From school runs to homework to making them smile... to starting horse riding lessons....they will always remember.

“The way you have touched so many people’s hearts will live on and will be the way many will remember you mum.

“You were an inspirational person in so many ways, one day I will be able to tell you them all face to face. Love you mummy.”

A number of Rio’s former teammates and friends shared their condolences earlier this week, with Wayne and Coleen Rooney leading those posting online.

Rio’s girlfriend, Kate Wright, also shared a low-key tribute, which read: “Always loved, never forgotten, forever missed.”

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