Rio Ferdinand has paid an emotional tribute to his mother, who lost her battle with cancer on Thursday.
Janice St Fort, 58, passed away just two years after Ferdinand lost his wife Rebecca to breast cancer, aged 34.
💔💔 sorry my bro. Heartbroken 💔 she was and still will be the rock of the family.— Carlton Cole (@CarltonCole1) July 15, 2017
In a moving tribute posted to Twitter and Instagram, the former Manchester United and England captain said: “Mummy… It won’t ever be enough but I just want to say thanks, a really big thank you.
“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.”
Rio Ferdinand's tribute to his mum has made me cry, such a lovely man and his family has gone through so much in such a little time— Fiona May (@fionamay4471) July 15, 2017
Ferdinand said his mother had been a “little fighter”, with a “huge heart”, and joked that the only negative thing he could think to say about her was that she talked too long on the phone.
Where do you turn after losing both your wife and mum to cancer? Honestly have the utmost respect for Rio Ferdinand.— Toby Dobson (@Tobiias) July 15, 2017
Celebrities and fans, including grime star Stormzy, applauded the retired defender’s resilience as he shared his love, and recalled: “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.”
Prayers up for you bro 🙏🏿🙏🏿 you're an absolute soldier we're all sorry for your loss ❤️— #MERKY (@Stormzy) July 15, 2017
He concluded: “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.”