Rio Ferdinand has been left heartbroken by the death of his mother to cancer after she stood by his side through the turmoil of losing his wife just two years ago to the disease.
Janice St Fort, devoted mother to Rio, died in hospital at the age of 58 after losing her battle to breast cancer with her crushed family at her bedside.
The tragic news comes just two years after Rio lost his wife Rebecca through cancer – something he spoke movingly about in the BBC’s Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad earlier this year.
“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.
“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,” a statement released by the family read.