Tragic: Rio Ferdinand is heartbroken - as his mum dies from cancer aged 58 3 years ago

Tragic: Rio Ferdinand is heartbroken - as his mum dies from cancer aged 58

Rio Ferdinand is today grieving following the death of his mother.

Janice St Fort was just 58. She passed away on Thursday in hospital surrounded by her loving family.

She had been battling cancer.

Rio's wife, Rebecca Ellison, also tragically died of breast cancer two years ago at the age of 34.

A statement issued by the family 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.

"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."

Janice, whose mother was Irish, had Rio when she was just 17 - and the two shared an incredibly close bond throughout their lives.