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Ferdinand plea to catch killers

England star Rio Ferdinand has made a personal plea to the public for information that will lead to the conviction of the killers of a promising young footballer.

Family-friend Rio McFarlane, 18, was murdered in a drive-by style shooting in the same area of south London where the Manchester United defender grew up.

Despite being gunned down in September last year, no one has been charged and the culprits remain at large.

A video of Ferdinand's murder appeal was released on the Met Police's YouTube site on Thursday and coincides with the offer of a £30,000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution of those involved.

The former England captain said: "I grew up in Peckham with Rio's brother Anthony and have known the McFarlane family for many years, so I wanted to do something to help them get justice for Rio's murder. I believe that the community can make a difference but it's important for people to come forward and talk to police."

In the appeal Ferdinand, 32, calls for people "to stand out from the crowd and be the best person you can be," and asks for witnesses to contact detectives.

Mr McFarlane died of a single gunshot wound to the chest on September 6 last year in Dragon Road, Peckham. Police said he had no involvement in crime and believe his murder may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Four men arrested in connection with the killing are due to answer police bail in May. They are all under the age of 23.

Anthony McFarlane, Rio's brother said: "It is impossible to describe the loss we feel. My brother was a good young man, who has been snatched from us through this violent murder. All we have left is the hope that, one day, we will see the person who killed him brought to justice."

Rio Ferdinand's appeal can be found at Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8247 4553 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


From Belfast Telegraph