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Rio Ferdinand in moving tribute to mother after cancer battle

The former England defender also lost his wife to cancer in 2015.

Rio Ferdinand has lovingly remembered his mother as “a little fighter, but with a huge heart” in an emotional tribute.

The former Manchester United and England captain posted a moving eulogy on Instagram to his mother Janice St Fort, 58, who lost her fight against cancer and died on Thursday.

Describing her as “an inspirational person in so many ways”, Ferdinand, 38, wrote: “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.

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

Ferdinand’s personal tribute sits alongside a photograph of him towering over his mother in a cuddle as she appears to hold his Premier League champions medal.

He adds that all he ever wanted since he was “as young as I can remember was to make you proud”, and he thinks he probably succeeded.

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Rio Ferdinand pictured with his wife Rebecca in 2013 (Martin Rickett/PA)

He states: “You were fiery, you were protective, you was soft & hard faced when need be… you loved hard, you disciplined me, you were a grafter & you were my everything.”

Thinking back to the death in 2015 of his wife Rebecca, who had breast cancer, Ferdinand recalls that his mother was “at my most difficult time, you were my shining light & made it your mission to be there for me & my kids…”

He jokes that the only negative thing he can think of is that she was too chatty on the telephone, but that she was much-loved at the heart of big family of children and grandchildren – by her husband Peter and a wide circle of friends.

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From Belfast Telegraph