Rio Ferdinand has revealed in a statement that his mum Janice has passed away after a battle with cancer.
Janice St Fort, 58, died on Tuesday surrounded by her family at London Bridge Hospital.
The former footballer, who lost his wife Rebecca Ellison to breast cancer in 2015, announced the devastating news in a family statement that read: ‘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.
Rio’s mum Janice made an appearance in his BBC documentary
‘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.’
The sad news come only two years after Rio lost his wife Rebecca to breast cancer, when she was just 35 years old.
The dad-of-three recently featured in BBC One documentary Being Mum and Dad, where he discussed how he coped after his wife’s death.
Rio lost his wife Rebecca in 2015
His mum Janice also made an appearance, and said keeping busy was Rio’s way of dealing with his loss: ‘He can’t just stop because when he stops, that’s when he has to think about his loss, his children’s loss and for me that’s his way of coping.’
In an interview with The Times, before the documentary aired, Rio said the loss of his wife took him to extremely dark place emotionally, and that it took him a long time to grieve ‘properly’ afterher death.
‘I never understood suicide. Then you sit there and you can understand how people get that low. It’s a lonely dark place. I can easily see why you just slip over that edge.
‘I don’t think I’ve grieved properly. I’ve not given myself that time to sit down and really flush everything out,’ he said.